An Unnatural History
Distributed for Reaktion Books
To explain why trolls still hold our interest, John Lindow goes back to their first appearances in Scandinavian folklore, where they were beings in nature living beside a preindustrial society of small-scale farming and fishing. He explores reports of actual encounters with trolls—meetings others found plausible in spite of their better judgment—and follows trolls’ natural transition from folktales to other domains in popular culture. Trolls, Lindow argues, would not continue to appeal to our imaginations today if they had not made the jump to illustrations in Nordic books and Scandinavian literature and drama. From the Moomins to Brothers Grimm and Three Billy Goats Gruff to cartoons, fantasy novels, and social media, Lindow considers the panoply of trolls that surround us and their sometimes troubling connotations in the contemporary world.
Taking readers into Norwegian music and film and even Yahoo Finance chat rooms, Trolls is a fun and fascinating book about these strange creatures.
1. The Earliest Trolls
2. Medieval Trolls
3. Folklore Trolls
4. Fairy-tale Trolls and Trolls Illustrated
5. Trolls in Literature
6. Trolls, Children, Marketing, and Whimsy
Sources and Further Reading
Acknowledgements and Photo Acknowledgements