Fantasy Reads: The Fairy Tales of Barbara Leonie Picard

I usually recommend books which are easy to get hold of but this week I’m making an exception to that rule for the sake of an unjustly neglected writer – Barbara Leonie Picard (1917-2011). She was a self-taught expert on the mythology and folklore of a wide range of cultures and her retellings of myths… Continue reading

Fantasy Reads – `Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange’

This week I’m recommending – with some reservations – a collection of  fantastical stories from the Near East which may be even older than the famous `Arabian Nights’. `Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange’ more than lives up to its title. The collection survives in a single damaged manuscript found in Istanbul,… Continue reading

Fantasy Reads – `Thorn’

This week I’m back to the theme of modern writers inspired by traditional Fairy Tales. In this case, one particular tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm – `The Goose Girl’. Do you remember the plot? A queen sends her daughter to marry a prince who lives in a far away land. The princess rides a… Continue reading

Fantasy Reads – `Diving Belles’

This week I’m recommending a collection of short stories loosely based on the folklore of the West of England. `Diving Belles’ by Lucy Wood came out in 2012.  In America it is known as `Diving Belles and Other Stories’. Both titles seem too frivolous for Wood’s delicate but disturbing tales, though the first story does… Continue reading

Fantasy Reads – Grimm Tales for Young and Old

Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel…these and many other popular fairy tales were collected and published by German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 19th century. Ever since, they have been delighting and horrifying readers and influencing writers and thinkers. This week I’m recommending a selection of the Grimms’ tales retold by… Continue reading

Geraldine Pinch