Victorian Fairy Tales

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/1/2016
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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'The Queen and the bat had been talking a good deal that afternoon...'

The Victorian fascination with fairyland vivified the literature of the period, and led to some of the most imaginative fairy tales ever written. They offer the shortest path to the age's dreams, desires, and wishes. Authors central to the nineteenth-century canon such as W. M. Thackeray, Oscar Wilde, Ford Madox Ford, and Rudyard Kipling wrote fairy tales, and authors primarily famous for their work in the genre include George MacDonald, Juliana Ewing, Mary De Morgan, and Andrew Lang. This anthology brings together fourteen of the best stories, by these and other outstanding practitioners, to show the vibrancy and variety of the form and its abilities to reflect our deepest concerns.

In tales of whimsy and romance, witty satire and uncanny mystery, love, suffering, family and the travails of identity are imaginatively explored. Michael Newton's introduction and notes provide illuminating contextual and biographical information about the authors and the development of the literary fairy tale. A selection of original illustrations is also included.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Author Biography

Michael Newton has taught at University College London, Princeton University, and Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design, and now works at Leiden University. He is the author of Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children (Faber, 20002), Age of Assassins: A History of Conspiracy and Poltical Violence, 1865-1981 (Faber, 2012) and a book on Kind Hearts and Coronets for the BFI Film Classics series. He has edited Edmund Gosse's Father and Son for Oxford World's Classics, and The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories and Conrad's The Secret Agent for Penguin. He has written and reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, the New Statesman, and The Guardian.

Table of Contents

Note on the Texts
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of the Victorian Fairy Tale
PROLOGUE: Grimm, 'Rumpel-Stilts-Kin' and Hans Christian Andersen, 'The Princess and the Peas'
ROBERT SOUTHEY, 'The Story of the Three Bears'
JOHN RUSKIN, 'The King of the Golden River'
DINAH MULOCK CRAIK, 'The Little Lame Prince and His Travelling Cloak'
MARY DE MORGAN, 'The Wanderings of Arasmon'
JULIANA HORATIA EWING, 'The First Wife's Wedding Ring'
OSCAR WILDE, 'The Selfish Giant'
ANDREW LANG, 'Prince Prigio'
FORD MADOX FORD, 'The Queen Who Flew'
LAURENCE HOUSMAN, 'The Story of the Herons'
KENNETH GRAHAME, 'The Reluctant Dragon'
E. NESBIT, 'Melisande'
RUDYARD KIPLING, 'Dymchurch Flit'
APPENDIX: What is a Fairy Tale?'
John Ruskin, 'Introduction' to German Popular Tales
Juliana Horatia Ewing, 'Preface' to Old-Fashioned Fairy Tales
George MacDonald, 'The Fantastic Imagination'
Laurence Housman, 'Introduction' to Gammer Grethel's Fairy Tales
Explanatory Notes

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