The Modern Fairies

by Clare Pollard

£18.99

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    Fiction

    Hardback

    9780241672457

    Published by Penguin

    Published June 2024

    Why don’t they tell you it is the beautiful princess who becomes the evil queen; that they are just the same person at different points in their story? Versailles, 1682: a city of the rich, a living fairy-tale, Louis XIV’s fever dream. It’s a place of opulence, beauty, and power.

    But strip back the lavish exterior of polite society, and you’ll find a dark undercurrent of sexual intrigue and vicious gossip. Nobody is safe here – no matter how highly born they are. No one knows this better than Madame Marie d’Aulnoy.

    Each week, a rogue group of intellectuals gather at her Parisian home to debate, flirt and perform Contes de Fées – fairy tales – that challenge the status quo, at a salon that will change the course of literature forever. But while they weave tales of glass slippers, enchanted beasts and long-haired princesses, a wolf is lurking, who threatens to destroy the members of the salon one by one. Brilliant and bawdy, romantic and provocative, The Modern Fairies is a dazzling novel inspired by real events, about the delights and dangers of storytelling in dark times.

    ‘Funny, filthy, dancingly clever: a delectable confection of many-layered pleasures. A story of stories, storytellers, and the lurking dangers of fairytales. It reminded me of Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion, and I gobbled it all up’ JOANNA QUINN, author of The Whalebone Theatre.

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