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What childhood fairytales can teach adults

The understated wisdom of Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood

Revisiting fairytales shows that their characters cannot be caged between the covers of their books. Illustration by Alberto Manguel

Because my father was a diplomat, my childhood was largely spent travelling from place to place. The bedrooms in which I slept, the words spoken outside the door, the landscapes around me constantly changed. Only my small library remained the same, and I remember the intense relief I felt when, tucked once again in an unfamiliar bed, I opened my books and there on the expected page was the same…

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