Magical Tales

Myth, Legend, and Enchantment in Children's Books

Edited by Carolyne Larrington and Diane Purkiss

Edited by Carolyne Larrington and Diane Purkiss

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Anna Caughey, David Clark, Hannah Field, Carolyne Larrington, and Diane Purkiss

192 pages | 70 color plates | 7 x 7 1/2 | © 2013
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9781851242641 Published June 2013 For sale in North America only
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.
“This magical book is a bibliophile’s delight.”
      Carolyne Larrington with Diane Purkiss

1. Books of magic
      Diane Purkiss
2. The myths of the north in children’s books
      Carolyne Larrington
3. The magical Middle Ages in children’s fantasy literature
      David Clark
4. Once and future Arthurs: Arthurian literature for children
      Anna Caughey
5. The magic of finger and thumb: early movable books for children
      Hannah Field

Notes and references
About the contributors
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