The Fairy Tellers
‘His cornucopia of tellers and tales is a delight, a riveting celebration of a genre that revels in its own hybridity and the imaginative riches produced by the crossing of cultural and literary borders’ Financial Times
‘Like a child after the Pied Piper I pursued Jubber into a world both human and full of magic. A carnival of a book, rigorously researched and jostling with life’ Amy Jeffs, author of Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain
‘Magical tales about magical tales and tellers. Jubber, congenially and fascinatingly, explores the land from which the great fairy stories seeped, making the stories more resonant, powerful and important than ever’ Charles Foster, author of Being a Human and Being a Beast
The surprising origins and people behind the world’s most influential magical tales: the people who told and re-shaped them, the landscapes that forged them, and the cultures that formed them and were in turn formed by them.
Who were the Fairy Tellers?
In this far-ranging quest, award-winning author Nicholas Jubber unearths the lives of the dreamers who made our most beloved fairy tales: inventors, thieves, rebels and forgotten geniuses who gave us classic tales such as ‘Cinderella’, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Baba Yaga’.
From the Middle Ages to the birth of modern children’s literature, they include a German apothecary’s daughter, a Syrian youth running away from a career in the souk and a Russian dissident embroiled in a plot to kill the tsar.
Following these and other unlikely protagonists, we travel from the steaming cities of Italy and the Levant, under the dark branches of the Black Forest, deep into the tundra of Siberia and across the snowy fells of Lapland. In the process, we discover a fresh perspective on some of our most frequently told stories. Filled with adventure, tragedy and real-world magic, this bewitching book uncovers the stranger lives behind the strangest of tales.
Prepare yourself for a wild ride -- The Times His cornucopia of tellers and tales is a delight, a riveting celebration of a genre that revels in its own hybridity and the imaginative riches produced by the crossing of cultural and literary borders -- Financial Times Engaging and interesting . . . Jubber's book shows the long-sustained value of these narratives, and should make us wonder what might happen to us if they disappeared from somewhere at the back of our brains. -- The Spectator Like a child after the Pied Piper I pursued Jubber into a world both human and full of magic. A carnival of a book, rigorously researched and jostling with life -- Amy Jeffs, author of Storyland I love this book - a whole new way into these classic tales. The Fairy Tellers is full of fascinating detail, a must for those intrigued by the traditional tale. Author Nick Jubber is the real thing, a scholar gypsy of courage and skill -- Robert Twigger, award-winning author of Red Nile Jubber's style is so pervaded with intrigue and adventure that it is impossible not to be swept up by these seven fascinating tales of the neglected tellers of our most treasured stories. The Fairy Tellers brilliantly reveals all the serendipity at the heart of what we think of as eternal, the specific circumstances and individual creativity behind the great archetypes that inform our understanding of our world in childhood and beyond. Enchanting, illuminating, and delightful -- Jennifer Croft, author of Homesick and co-winner of the Man Booker International Prize for Flights A dazzling treasury of observation, erudition, and folklore - recounted with spellbinding sensitivity and grace -- Tahir Shah, author of In Arabian Nights Jubber astutely delves into the origins and deeper meanings of fairy tales and their cultural history - the cooking pot of languages and stories which have continually fed our imagination down the centuries. A fine achievement -- James Crowden, author of The Frozen River Wondrous. Jubber evokes hidden moments and atmospheres across the world, from smoke-filled dens to exquisite palaces, so beautifully that they will linger long in my memory. A treasure trove of a book -- Zoe Gilbert, author of Folk A fabulous book . . . My favourite kind of nonfiction - skilled writing that takes imaginary worlds and renders them almost tangible -- Edward Brooke-Hitching, author of The Phantom Atlas Magical tales about magical tales and tellers. Jubber, congenially and fascinatingly, explores the land from which the great fairy stories seeped, making the stories more resonant, powerful and important than ever -- Charles Foster, author of Being a Human and Being a Beast In this rich and sparkling journey, Jubber follows the ink trails of the great storytellers of the past, weaving a tale of his own by turns witty, bawdy, poignant, always eye-opening -- Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, author of Beyond the Northlands Fantastic, moreish and utterly original, with The Fairy-Tellers Jubber not only takes us through some wildly eclectic histories and landscapes, he also reminds us of what heights travel writing is capable of -- Caroline Eden, author of Black Sea Insightful, original, and, often, as charming as the tales themselves -- Professor Nancy Canepa A fabulous quest through time in search of the lost tellers of tales of wonder, Nick Jubber is a master storyteller whose endless curiosity, wit and panache brings the lives of key fairy tale tellers to vibrant life -- Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greens [Jubber] goes in search of some of the figures responsible for the fairy tales we know today and it pays off, their lives turning out more often than not to be as wild, adventurous and heartbreaking as the stories themselves . . . Importantly these stories are for the people and of the people -- New European
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