The fairy tale tradition dates back to the Bronze Age or before, per researchers and historians. Whether in the oral or the written form, the practice of retelling these ancient stories from many cultures around the world is probably just as longstanding.
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The Merry Spinster joins this ongoing, rich lineage. Regular online readers of literary matters will know Ortberg from The Toast, where his witty and sharp takes (as *Mallory) on classic art and literature were always a treat. This collection has evolved from a particular series that ran on the site and involved recasting classic children’s stories as horror stories. Ortberg also currently runs the Dear Prudence column at Slate.