Victorian Fairy Tales
The Victorian fascination with fairyland is reflected in the literature of the period, which includes 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 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 ability to reflect our deepest concerns. The stories in this selection range from pure whimsy and romance to witty satire and darker, uncanny mystery. Paradox proves central to a form offered equally to children and adults. Fairyland is a dynamic and beguiling place, one that permits the most striking explorations of gender, suffering, love, family, and the travails of identity. Michael Newton's introduction and notes explore the literary marketplace in which these tales appeared, as well as the role they played in contemporary debates on scepticism and belief. The book also includes a selection of original illustrations by some of the masters of the field such as Richard Doyle, Arthur Hughes, and Walter Crane.
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.
INTRODUCTION ; 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' ; WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, 'THE ROSE AND THE RING' ; GEORGE MACDONALD, 'THE GOLDEN KEY' ; 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