Our need for stories is age old, and here we meet the tellers of fairy tales in the most revealing, atmospheric, and captivating read.
Fascinating and utterly bewitching, if you love fairy tales, in fact stories of any kind, then this is the book for you. Nicholas Jubber examines the history of the fairy tellers, those who started the fairy tales that have twisted and reformed and are still alive today. I have to say that this book is so ‘right up my street’ that it’s parked on double yellows, thrown its doors open and invited everyone to gather round and listen, so of course we declare it a LoveReading Star Book. The book itself is completely engaging, from the choice of cover to the accompanying map, and chart detailing the legacies of the story tellers, through to the explanations and decisions taken over the content. Nicholas Jubber has with great love and attention chosen a core selection of tellers, highlighting the oral culture that dwells in their past: “Their collective life stories trace the development of the fairy tale from oral community tales to the mass production lines of the modern children’s literature industry”. Nicholas Jubber himself is a teller and with vibrant, vivid eloquence explains the background to our much beloved tales. I recognised iconic and less well known writers and stories, travelled to far flung places and through time, and ended up thinking about fairy tales in a completely different way. The author advises that: “These are precious stories, beautiful stories, carved out of terrible suffering in some cases, and in others moulded from moments of ecstatic joy”. So, don’t begin expecting a happily ever after, like the traditional stories this comes with bite, but there is also joy waiting to be discovered. I highly recommend stepping into The Fairy Tellers and spending quality time within the pages as it’s an absolute beast of a beautiful read.
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.
|Publication date:||20th January 2022|
|Publisher:||John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray Press|
|Primary Genre||Gift books|
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
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