Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain
A TIMES BESTSELLER, January 2022
A TIMES HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR
A BBC HISTORY MAG BOOK OF THE YEAR
A DAILY EXPRESS BOOK OF THE YEAR
‘Expressive, bold and quite beautiful’ The Lady
‘[a] delight of a book’ Antonia Senior, The Times
‘ravishingly lovely’ The Times Ireland
‘[a] lively retelling of British myths’ Apollo Magazine
Soaked in mist and old magic, Storyland is a new illustrated mythology of Britain, set in its wildest landscapes.
It begins between the Creation and Noah’s Flood, follows the footsteps of the earliest generation of giants from an age when the children of Cain and the progeny of fallen angels walked the earth, to the founding of Britain, England, Wales and Scotland, the birth of Christ, the wars between Britons, Saxons and Vikings, and closes with the arrival of the Normans.
These are retellings of medieval tales of legend, landscape and the yearning to belong, inhabited with characters now half-remembered: Brutus, Albina, Scota, Arthur and Bladud among them. Told with narrative flair, embellished in stunning artworks and glossed with a rich and erudite commentary. We visit beautiful, sacred places that include prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge and Wayland’s Smithy, spanning the length of Britain from the archipelago of Orkney to as far south as Cornwall; mountains and lakes such as Snowdon and Loch Etive and rivers including the Ness, the Soar and the story-silted Thames in a vivid, beautiful tale of our land steeped in myth. It Illuminates a collective memory that still informs the identity and political ambition of these places.
In Storyland, Jeffs reimagines these myths of homeland, exile and migration, kinship, loyalty, betrayal, love and loss in a landscape brimming with wonder.
Storyland is a joyous read celebrating the power of collective myths and the landscapes which inspired them * All About History * Jeffs writes beautifully, erring just on the right side of florid, and her linocut prints make for attractive illustrations. The stories come with explanations of sources and legacies, and she has a lovely knack of rooting each one in the landscape that birthed it. This gorgeous book should live on the bookshelves in every house that cares about "the idea of Britain, what is was and where it came from." * The Times * An elegant book * Sunday Express * [A] spellbinding illustrated mythology of Britain. * Scottish Field Magazine * Rich in myth and legend . . . Beautifully illustrated . . . this is an engaging book, meticulously researched and filled with drama, emotion, action and experience. * The Simple Things * I have fallen so completely in love with this book; Storyland, by Amy Jeffs, just one of the finest, most covetable things around. It's a mythology of Britain; Brutus, Arthur, Scotus, Bladud, a mix of new telling and ancient, with original woodcuts by the author which are so beautiful you want to eat them. The stories are about strangeness and wonder and brutality, a story of Britain from the top of Orkney to the bottom of Cornwall. It's hugely original, and starkly lovely: I've never come across anything quite like it. -- Katherine Rundell A beautiful retelling of British myths and exquisitely illustrated too. -- James Holland * Daily Express (BOOK OF THE YEAR) * Storyland is a spellbinding illustrated mythology of Britain . . . With Jeffs at the helm we travel through a powerful medieval mythscape and in doing so, the entirety of Britain. * Scottish Field Magazine * Art historian and printmaker Amy Jeffs brings a fresh perspective to the mythology that flows through Britain for an enlightening, transporting survey of the stories that suffuse our landscape and have shaped its people. * Waterstones * [R]avishingly lovely * The Times Ireland * [A] lively retelling of British myths * Apollo Magazine * Steeped in magic and mystery and grounded in meticulous research in manuscripts and our ancient landscape, Amy's mythical world is movingly articulated. * Bristol Magazine * Elegant retellings of Britain's origin legends sit alongside Jeffs' captivating artworks, which I like so much that I have two hanging in my office. -- Dan Jones for Good Web Guide
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