Tales of Wonder

Luck or Fate would have it that I noticed and was able to attend an illustrated lecture by Jack Zipes last Thursday. Organised by the Folklore Society it took place at the Warburg Institute in London.

Fairy Tales with Wings: Reading Fairy Tales through Picture Postcards” was the title of the lecture  – obviously right up my street! After an introduction and general history of illustrated and in particular fairy tale postcards, Jack Zipes presented and discussed examples from his unique collection, focussing on ‘Little Red Riding Hood‘ and on a Russian tale ‘Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump‘.

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Note: This is Jack Zipes’ title, I much prefer the original: ‘The Little Humpback Horse‘ – there is a wonderful animated film from 1947 on YouTube.

Nevertheless, it was amazing to see how different nationalities and illustrators focus on different aspects particularly of Little Red Riding Hood:  some on the wolf, some with a sensual undercurrent, some concentrating on the violence while others portrayed a romanticised version.

So next on my reading list is   ‘Tales of Wonder: Retelling Fairy Tales through Picture Postcards‘.


Parts of Jack Zipes’ vast postcard collection will be exhibited in February 2019 in the Weisman Art Museum. I feel a trip to Minneapolis might be ‘on the cards’, particularly as their current exhibition is about PRINCE – I am (or should that grammatically correct but sadly be ‘was’?) a fan.


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