The Fairy Tellers (Hardcover)

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‘A carnival of a book, rigorously researched and jostling with life’
—Amy Jeffs, author of Storyland

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.

About the Author

Nicholas Jubber has travelled in the Middle East, Central Asia, North and East Africa and across Europe. Along the way, he has worked as a teacher, carpet-washer and even had a stint as a tannery assistant. He has written three previous books,The Timbuktu School for Nomads,The Prester Quest (winner of the Dolman Travel Book Award) and Drinking Arak off an Ayatollah's Beard (shortlisted for the Dolman Award). He has written for numerous publications, including the Guardian,Observer,Globe and Mail,Irish Times and BBC History

Praise For…

‘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

‘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

The Fairy Tellers brilliantly reveals all the serendipity at the heart of what we think of as eternal ... Enchanting, illuminating, and delightful' —Jennifer Croft, author of Homesick and co-winner of the Man Booker International Prize for Flights

‘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

‘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

‘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
Product Details
ISBN: 9781529389210
ISBN-10: 1529389216
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English