The Real World of Fairies is a privileged glimpse into a joyous, animated universe. Dora's enchanting vision of her encounters with the fairy realm delights the child in us, while it excites our grown-up imagination, rekindles our creative energy, and deepens our sense of connection with nature. This new edition features a foreword by Celtic folk expert Caitlin Matthews. Caitlin's personal experiences and deep knowledge of the fairy world resonate brilliantly with Dora's, adding a fresh perspective for contemporary readers.
Transforming Motifs from Geoffrey of Monmouth to the Death of Shakespeare
Author: Helen Cooper
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Category: Literary Criticism
The English Romance in Time is a study of English romance across the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It explores romance motifs - quests and fairy mistresses, passionate heroines and rudderless boats and missing heirs - from the first emergence of the genre in French and Anglo-Norman in the twelfth century down to the early seventeenth. This is a continuous story, since the same romances that constituted the largest and most sophisticated body of secular fiction in the Middle Ages went on to enjoy a new and vibrant popularity at all social levels in black-letter prints as the pulp fiction of the Tudor age. This embedded culture was reworked for political and Reformation propaganda and for the 'writing of England', as well as providing a generous reservoir of good stories and dramatic plots. The different ways in which the same texts were read over several centuries, or the same motifs shifted meaning as understanding and usage altered, provide a revealing and sensitive measure of historical and cultural change. The book accordingly looks at those processes of change as well as at how the motifs themselves work, to offer a historical semantics of the language of romance conventions. It also looks at how politics and romance intersect - the point where romance comes true. The historicizing of the study of literature is belatedly leading to a wider recognition that the early modern world is built on medieval foundations. This book explores both the foundations and the building. Similarly, generic theory, which previously tended to operate on transhistorical assumptions, is now acknowledging that genre interacts crucially with cultural context - with changing audiences and ideologies and means of dissemination. The generation into which Spenser and Shakespeare were born was the last to be brought up on a wide range of medieval romances in their original forms, and they could therefore exploit their generic codings in new texts aimed at both elite and popular audiences. Romance may since then have lost much of its cultural centrality, but the universal appeal of these same stories has continued to fuel later works from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.
The departmentalism of American universities has doubtless much to recommend it. It indicates that exuberance is not a sufficient sub stitute for scholarship, that, for better or for worse, every scholar today must be something of a specialist. But when any great writer and great thinker reaches out and grasps the whole of human life, the study of his work transcends specialization. And while exuberance may not replace scholarship, it may accompany it. Most of my work has been done in the history of political philosophy. I have dared to overstep departmental boundaries, because I believe that Shakespeare has something to say to political philosophy. I am not the first to express this view. Whether I express it well or badly, I shall not be the last. I want to thank Leo Strauss, my teacher. He has read the manus cript and given me the benefit of his insight and judgment. I want to thank Richard Kennington, who has taken so much time from his own work to comment meticulously and constructively on this work as on other things I have written. His help has been generous, and my appreciation is deep. I must, in particular, thank my colleague, Adolph Lowe. He has perused this study, much of it in several versions. Through long walks in Manchester, Vermont, we have discussed my work and his comments. Usually his comments have been compelling. I can regret only that I am completely unqualified to reciprocate.
With its title harkening back to the sack of Baghdad in 1258—when the Tigris ran black with the ink of books flung into the water by Mongol invaders—River of Ink is a collection of essays that range widely across time and cultures to illuminate the role of literature and art throughout history. Christensen draws from a panoply of subjects, from the writings of prehistoric Chinese cultures known only through archaeology to the heroic efforts of contemporary Afghanis to keep the legacy of their ancient culture alive under the barrage of endless war. Christensen’s encyclopedic knowledge of world art and vast understanding of literature allows him to move easily from a discussion of the invention of moveable type in Korea, to Johannes Kepler’s search for the harmony of the spheres, to the strange journey of an iron sculpture from Benin to the Louvre. Other essays cover the Popol Vuh of the Maya as exemplum of translation, the pioneering explorations of the early American naturalist John Bartram, and the balletic works of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. It is Christensen’s gift to see the world whole, to offer a wealth of connections vital for us as citizens of a rapidly globalizing world.
In Victorian Britain an array of writers captured the excitement of new scientific discoveries, and enticed young readers and listeners into learning their secrets, by converting introductory explanations into quirky, charming, and imaginative fairy-tales; forces could be fairies, dinosaurs could be dragons, and looking closely at a drop of water revealed a soup of monsters. Science in Wonderland explores how these stories were presented and read. Melanie Keene introduces and analyses a range of Victorian scientific fairy-tales, from nursery classics such as The Water-Babies to the little-known Wonderland of Evolution, or the story of insect lecturer Fairy Know-a-Bit. In exploring the ways in which authors and translators - from Hans Christian Andersen and Edith Nesbit to the pseudonymous 'A.L.O.E.' and 'Acheta Domestica' - reconciled the differing demands of factual accuracy and fantastical narratives, Keene asks why the fairies and their tales were chosen as an appropriate new form for capturing and presenting scientific and technological knowledge to young audiences. Such stories, she argues, were an important way in which authors and audiences criticised, communicated, and celebrated contemporary scientific ideas, practices, and objects.
This book provides a critical survey of the gothic texts of late twentieth-century and contemporary Scottish women writers including Kate Atkinson, Ellen Galford, A.L. Kennedy, Ali Smith and Emma Tennant focusing on four themes: quests and other worlds, w