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Leading authors celebrate Brothers Grimm

5th September 2012

The 200th anniversary of the publication of the Grimm Brothers' fairytales is being celebrated by a number of famous writers, including Sir Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman and Michael Morpurgo, in a series of Radio 3 insights and readings.

The first volume of Grimms' Fairy Tales was first published in 1912 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and the stories within the collection - including Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood - have gone on to influence and inspire millions of children and adults alike across the globe.

To celebrate the bicentenary of the collection's publication, five famous authors are taking part in a week-long series for Radio 3's In Tune programme, with Pullman's episode focusing on the timeless aspect of the tales.

'They take basic human situations - wife, husband, father, son, king, subject, life, death - and illustrate them with such simplicity and clarity that they can't help resonating throughout the ages,' he explained.

Pullman is currently working on a new collection of stories based on the Grimm Brothers' works and will read an extract from one of them - inspired by The Three Snake Leaves - during the programme.

Other contributors to the series will include the current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, who will explain how the Grimm Brothers' heroes and villains have appeared in many of her collections, including The World's Wife and Beast and Beauties.

Meanwhile, the playwright and poet John Agard, whose work includes the anthology Goldilocks on CCTV, which imagines the Grimms' heroes and villains in modern society, will take part in a programme exploring the brothers' continuing influence on our world.

Pratchett, who credits the Grimm Brothers' tales with providing him with inspiration for some of his Discworld novels, will also feature in an episode, while former Children's Laureate Morpurgo will look at the morals contained within the stories and how today's children can still learn from and be inspired by them.

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