Fairy Tellers: A Journey into the Secret History of Fairy Tales (Paperback)
"The general reader is unlikely to have met Mr. Jubber’s other subjects and may be amazed to learn the degree to which these unsung men and women have shaped the fairy-tale canon, an enthusiastic and enjoyable book—The Wall Street Journal
‘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.