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  • John Murray
  • John Murray
  • John Murray
  • John Murray

The Fairy Tellers: A Journey into the Secret History of Fairy Tales

Nicholas Jubber

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Folklore, myths & legends, Sociology: customs & traditions

'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.

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Praise for The Fairy Tellers: A Journey into the Secret History of Fairy Tales

  • Prepare yourself for a wild ride

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • A dazzling treasury of observation, erudition, and folklore - recounted with spellbinding sensitivity and grace

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