Fairy tales depict the fantastical lives of princes and princesses, witches and ogres, giants and dragons. They have endured because of their magical power to take us away from the mundanity of everyday life and capture our imaginations. But are they really so far removed from reality?
The stories of Winnie-the-Pooh from the Hundred Acre Wood are stories which almost every adult and child living in Britain today will be familiar with. The honey-loving yellow bear with his adorable collection of friends, including Christopher Robin have filled many a storytelling hour for young children across the globe.
Perhaps our observance, celebration and misrecognition of Christmas are silken threads in a grander tapestry. Maybe the enduring shadows of the Christian, the pagan and the rapaciously commercial are only disparate mirrors of our yearning to feel secure, to return 'home', wherever home is.
Settle Stories is supported and governed by a board of trustees with an amazing skill set. Ann Rutherford is the latest addition to the board. A busy arts professional, we caught up with Ann to find out more about her.
Q: Tell us a little about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
Settle Stories was set up in 2010 by Sita Brand to promote literature, reading and storytelling for the local Settle and wider Yorkshire Dales community. Since then the charity has worked to increase access to traditional and modern forms of storytelling, to encourage people of all ages to interact with storytelling and to tell their own stories.
It's official !
In a recent speech to the Berlin Literary Festival, no less a luminary than American writer Meg Rosoff threw a spanner in the certainties of scientific literalism with the brazen suggestion that the telling of fairy stories to young children might actually be beneficial to their long-term development.
African traditions of storytelling are many and varied, which comes as no surprise given the size, scale and cultural diversity of the continent whence they emerge. It's a brave ethnographer who goes in search of unifying themes: the weight of myth, fable and history - all of which go to inform modern representations of this singular art form - is overwhelming.