With a foreword by Neil Gaiman, this comprehensive, entertaining and authentic collection of English folktales is perfect for fans of Madeline Miller, Philip Pullman and the Brothers Grimm.
This is a golden treasury of over one hundred English folktales captured in the form they were first collected in past centuries. Read these classic tales as they would have been told when storytelling was a living art – when the audience believed in boggarts and hobgoblins, local witches and will-o’-the-wisps, ghosts and giants, cunning foxes and royal frogs. Find “Jack the Giantkiller”, “Tom Tit Tot” and other quintessentially English favourites, alongside interesting borrowings, such as an English version of the Grimms’ “Little Snow White” – as well as bedtime frighteners, including “Captain Murderer”, as told to Charles Dickens by his childhood nurse.
Neil Philip has provided a full introduction and source notes on each story that illustrate each tale’s journey from mouth to page, and what has happened to them on the way. These tales rank among the finest English short stories of all time in their richness of metaphor and plot and their great verbal dash and daring.
About the Author
Neil Philip is a writer, folklorist and poet. Among his many books are The Cinderella Story, Mythology (with Philip Wilkinson),The New Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The Tale of Sir Gawain and The Adventures of Odysseus. Neil has contributed to numerous journals, including The Times and Signal: Approaches to Children's Books, and has also written for stage, screen and radio. His work has won the Aesop Award of the American Folklore Society and the Literary Criticism Book Award of the Children's Literature Association.
"A treasure-trove of living stories, and enormously fun to read. Enjoy!" - Neil Gaiman
"Shivery, creepy, melancholy, funny, fantastic and very real ... Neil Philip’s classic collection offers us an overflowing cauldron of marvellous stories.’ - Marina Warner
"Collections of folktales as good as this should be bound in gold and brought out on ceremonial occasions as national treasures." - Philip Pullman
"The generally admitted and admired glories of English literature rest on a much more neglected popular tradition of story-telling. This collection brings that tradition back to life, in a wonderfully accessible form." - Professor Ronald Hutton
‘A book that inspires and informs, and opens hearts and minds to our story heritage.' - Professor Carolyne Larrington
"A profound influence on me and Hookland." - David Southwell
"This is the best collection of English folktales." - Professor Diane Purkiss
"A superb anthology of more than one hundred extraordinary tales that reveal the exquisite nature of the English storytelling tradition. This is a dazzling book." - Professor Jack Zipes
"Never was a better time for such a knowing, appreciative volume of our shared tales." - Gregory Maguire
"An expertly chosen selection of English folktales that is highly readable, endlessly entertaining, and intellectually enlivened. If by some mysterious goblin’s spell I was condemned to give away all the books in my library but one, this is undoubtedly the book I would keep." - Professor Andrew Teverson
"Buckle up and prepare for close encounters with ghouls and boggarts, witches and merry-maids, talking cats and roaring bulls." - Professor Maria Tatar
"A truly beautiful collection of over one hundred English stories . . . collated with true wonder and love for the magic of storytelling." - LoveReading, starred book