#BookReview THE FAIRY TELLERS by NICHOLAS JUBBER #nonfiction


ABOUT THE BOOK


Fairy-Tales are not just fairy-tales: they are records of historical phenomena, telling us something about how Western civilisation was formed. In The Fairy-Tellers’ Trail, award-winning travel-writer Nick Jubber explores their secret history of fairy-tales: the people who told them, the landscapes that forged them, and the cultures that formed them.

While there are certain names inextricably entwined with the concept of a fairy-tale, such as the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, the most significant tellers are long buried under the more celebrated figures who have taken the credit for their stories – people like the Syrian storyteller Youhenna Diab and the Wild Sisters of Cassel. Without them we would never have heard of Aladdin, his Magic Lamp or the adventures of Hansel and Gretel.

Tracking these stories to their sources carries us through the steaming cities of Southern Italy and across the Mediterranean to the dust-clogged alleys of the Maghreb, under the fretting leaves of the Black Forest, deep into the tundra of Siberia and across the snowy hills of Lapland.

From North Africa and Siberia, this book illuminates the complicated relationship between Western civilization and the ‘Eastern’ cultures it borrowed from, and the strange lives of our long lost fairy-tellers

PUBLISHED BY JOHN MURRAY PRESS

PUBLICATION DATE – 

20TH JANUARY 2022

PRE-ORDER LINKS

KINDLE
AMAZON
BLACKWELL’S

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Jubber is an award-winning travel writer. His journeys have taken him to the Ethiopian highlands, the Afghan lowlands, and the heart of the Sahara. Fascinated by history and its relationship with the present, he explores connections – and mis-connections – across the centuries. In his latest book, this fascination carries him across Europe on a journey from Turkey to Iceland. He has been shortlisted three times for the prestigious Stanford Dolman award (and won it for his debut, ‘The Prester Quest’), and has spoken at major literary festivals including Hay-on-Wye, Edinburgh and Cheltenham. His website is http://www.nickjubber.com and he is on twitter at @jubberstravels

MY REVIEW


This is a truly wonderful book about the origins and storytellers behind the most magical fairy tales that we all take for granted! It’s only when I picked this book up that I realised I knew very little, if anything at all, about how they came to be, and about the people that wrote them! So this book has enlightened me in so many ways, and has just made me want to pick up all the old fairy tales I have to enjoy them once more, and see beyond the ‘Disney’ magic and get a bit more of an understanding and deeper sense of the story behind the story! so to speak!

This is a book that covers geography as it takes you all over the world, history as it looks at the goings on around the writers at the time they wrote them, and all the folk tales that inspired the storytellers to put pen to paper and create these wonderful stories that we all know and love so much.

As well as the well known writers who receive all the plaudits for the fairy tales – Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm – it also does a wonderful job of introducing the many other brilliant storytellers such as Hanna Diyab (Aladdin and Ali Baba), Dortchen Wild and Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve (Beauty and the Beast) to name but a few, and gives you a real insight into their stories and what inspired or prompted them to write.

You really get a great sense of the extensive research that this author has put into this piece of work. He travels across the globe to find out more about these authors and their backgrounds and showing how often the messages behind these stories are often a lot darker and deeper than they appear on the surface. And I think that is why they work on so many levels to different readers. To a child the stories appear full of magic and wonder, to an adult we see the hidden depths to each tale and notice a lot more going on. Many of the writers had such fascinating and often tragic life stories themselves so you can see the correlation between fact and fiction.

This was a book that has reignited my passion for fairy tales and I’m eager to start picking them up all over again now that I know more about the past of the writers and what led them to create the characters and situations in each tale. A truly fascinating and absorbing piece of writing!


★★★★★

 My thanks to Alice Rowe at The Book Publicist for the advance reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BlogTour FOXFIRE, WOLFSKIN & other stories of shapeshifting women by Sharon Blackie #BookReview #RandomThingsTours #FoxfireWolfskin @septemberbooks

Hugely excited to be taking part in this Blog Tour so thank you for stopping by today! My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and letting me be part of the Tour!

ABOUT THE BOOK

‘Part rally cry, part warning, part manifesto and all parts enchanting, Sharon Blackie’s Foxfire, Wolfskin is a deeply evocative and haunting collection. Humming with the strength of our immutable voices, each story sings with the transformation that is possible when women take agency of our lives. I want to press this powerful book into the hands of everyone I know and say, listen.’ Holly Ringland, author, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

‘Sharon Blackie has wrought a new-old magic for our times: glorious, beautiful, passionate myths written for this critical moment in time. They show who we could have been, and they give us a glimpse of a world-that-could-be. There’s still time to make it happen.’ Manda Scott, author of the Boudicca series, and A Treachery of Spies

Charged with drama and beauty, this memorable collection by a master storyteller weaves a magical world of possibility and power from female myths of physical renewal, creation and change. It is an extraordinary immersion into the bodies and voices, mindscapes and landscapes, of the shape-shifting women of our native folklore. We meet the Water Horse of the Isle of Lewis, the huldra, the Scandinavian supernatural forest-dweller, and Baba Yaga of Slavic folklore (but will she help you or kill you?) Here too is the Snow Queen; the wild bird-woman of the Sliabh Mis Mountains; Blodeuedd, the Welsh ‘flower-faced’ woman.

Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe – from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia – Sharon Blackie brings to life women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness – and wilderness – within.

Published by September Publishing

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon   

hive.co.uk

whsmith

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, mythologist and psychologist, and an internationally recognised teacher of the mythic imagination. Her bestselling book, If Women Rose Rooted, won a 2016 Nautilus award, and laid out a haunting heroine’s journey for every woman who finds power, inspiration and solace in the natural world. She has an international following through her online communities, and the courses and workshops she offers through ‘The Hedge School’. Her first novel, The Long Delirious Blue, was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘hugely potent’. She lives in Connemara, Ireland.

 www.sharonblackie.net.

The Enchanted Life

If Women Rose Rooted

MY REVIEW

This is a stunning collection of magical stories that are based on myth and fairy tales across Europe, and I was totally captivated by the messages portrayed and the style of writing.  I’ve often found with short story collections that they can be a little hit and miss with the impact each story has on me, but with this collection I found something positive to say about all of them – some are short and sweet, others are a little more complex and involved but they all had the effect of just making me want to read more of the lesser known fairy tales and folklore from different places,  and that’s exactly what I will be doing!

Accompanied by many striking illustrations, each story features a theme – growing old, changes in the world we live in, grief, temptation – from the point of view of the women involved and I loved how that made you look at each story so differently.  The role of a woman and how that changes over time and how others see her, and it really gives you so much to think about. 

There are also notes at the back of the book which give the outline of the original folklore story which helps give extra meaning to the story if you’ve not heard of it before, and that was invaluable! I think fairy stories have a special place in all our hearts and as we get older we end up discovering the different layers to each story that we may have missed while reading as a child which helps give them that longevity, along with the memories they also bring back and that is always a wonderful part of reading – to rediscover and learn!  Having stories re-written like these brings about a new audience and new meaning to stories, and I’m glad to have spent time reading this and look forward to reading more from this author!

★★★★★