I was having a browse amongst the books in a nearby junkish sort of rake around barn, the sort of place where you have no idea what you might find, when I spotted a book called Rapunzel. Having had long hair for most of my life I’ve always felt an affinity with Rapunzel so I had to have a look at the book.
It turns out that this one isn’t really for children at all, it’s aimed at people who were teenagers in the 1970s and the lovely illustrations are full of nostalgia – for me anyway.
In this version Rapunzel has been locked up in the bedroom of the tower block that she lives in with her Aunt Edna. The lifts don’t work and Aunt Edna won’t use the stairs so she uses Rapuzel’s hair to get in and out. Of course one day a young man called Roger witnesses Aunt Edna shouting to Rapunzel to let down her hair. Roger is eager to find out who the beautiful red plait belongs to, so the next day he impersonates Aunt Edna’s voice and climbs up the plait himself to find Rapunzel, and so begins their romance.
Rapuzel’s bedroom walls are covered with 1970s posters, ABBA, Kate Bush, Elton John, Marc Bolan and John Travolta. There’s even a Swiss Cheese plant and a lava lamp. Platform shoes and fringed waistcoats feature too. It’s a lovely blast from the past.
You can see images of some of the illustrations here.