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Magical Tales: Myth, Legend, and Enchantment in Children's Books
edited by Diane Purkiss and Carolyne Larrington
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2013
Paper: 978-1-85124-264-1

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
A faun carrying an umbrella. A hobbit who makes his home in a hole in the ground. An ill-treated schoolboy with a secret and a scar. Fantasy is among the most beloved genres in children’s literature— and its offerings are often just as eagerly anticipated by adults. But how is it that writers like J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman are able to create such remarkable images?

Magical Tales
traces the origin of the genre back through Norse mythology, Arthurian legend, and medieval literature. Drawing on manuscripts and rare books in the renowned collection of the Bodleian Library, the essays turn the spotlight on spell books; grimoires, or magical textbooks; and books of legend and myth whose themes writers like J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis incorporated into their work, inspiring generations of writers that extend to the present day. In serving as a source of inspiration for later literary works, the contributors show, myths and legends have themselves been altered in interesting ways.

Richly illustrated, Magical Tales offers an enchanting take on the development of this wildly popular genre.
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