This newly published anthology contains 14 imaginative tales are full of whimsy, fantastical happenings, dark happenings and, of course, sometimes even fairies. Many are by authors who you would not necessarily associate with fairy tales; John Ruskin, Rudyard Kipling, William Makepeace Thackeray all have stories included in this anthology. Adding to the charm of the tales are reproductions of some of the original illustrations, by some of the greatest figures of Victorian art such as Richard Doyle, Ford Madox Ford, Arthur Hughes and Walter Crane (whose beautiful wallpaper design, ‘Swan, Rush, Iris’ adorns the book cover).
This is a lovely book to dip in and out of but it also caters to those who want to know more about the Victorian literary marketplace and chronology of fairy tales; the anthology includes historically informed explanatory notes, biographies of the authors, a chronology of Victorian fairy tales and extracts from some of the authors’ musings on the nature of fairy tale and its importance.
Victorian Fairy Tales
Edited by Michael Newton
About the editor: 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, 2002), Age of Assassins: A History of Conspiracy and Political 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.
Related blog post: Marina Warner’s Once Upon A Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale