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English Fairy Tales and Legends

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4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  97 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The stories that many children grown up with are very international—for example Snow White is German, Cinderella is French, and Aladdin is Arabian. Folk tales and legends are an intrinsic part of English national culture—so which are the fairy tales from England? Rosalind Kerven presents an answer here, as she has revived the best of these tales for a new generation ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by National Trust
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karen
Dec 28, 2008 karen rated it it was amazing
when i was little, my grandmother had a book of fairy tales that i loved and have been trying to find ever since. i was hoping reading this would spark a memory of which stories were in that book so i could launch a more effective search for it, but alas..i can only remember one story, and i can remember which stories were NOT in it, and thats all. but thats neither here nor there. this is a beautifully designed book, with great artwork, and fantastic paper. i liked the final section which is ...more
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
The illustrations in this are gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.

I'd read or heard of most of the stories in this charming book, and I particularly liked the re-tellings of the ones more local to me.

I wouldn't say this is for really young children, perhaps 6+. It feels a bit grown up in places and younger children would probably struggle to understand some of the terms. It'd be perfect for reading aloud, perhaps a bedtime story to inspire dreams of dragons and giants?

I received a copy of this for fre
...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
Jul 26, 2011 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing
Every region of England has a strong storytelling tradition and the country's patchwork of fairy tales and legends is an intrinsic part of the national culture.

The fifteen stories here include tales of giants, fairies, dragons and witches, King Arthur and Robin Hood.
Sara
Jan 23, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing
Many of these fairy-tales will be unfamiliar to most people, as they are not part of the popular children's selections nor produced by Disney, but the themes and characters, such as Arthur and Robin Hood, are instantly familiar. There is something wonderfully satisfying in reading stories where the good triumph and the wicked are soundly punished and it's this, as much as the magic, that appealed to me in reading this book. It is pure entertainment of the kind mostly reserved for when you were a ...more
Paul Pensom
When the nights draw in I feel a yen for this kind of book. There's an atavistic part of me that revels in the mystery hinted at by the long gloomy nights, as if all our learning were nothing but a mantle; slipping from our shoulders as we skulk back to the shadows from whence we came.

Folklore intrigues me. Some of the tropes are explicable; fireside storytellers making sense of the fearful and puzzling world outside. But still other ideas are testament to the wheels of imagination ever turning
...more
Jo Barton
Jun 05, 2013 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful set of fairy tales features stories and legends from the different counties of England and wraps them up so beautifully in illustrations that steal right into your heart, awakening long forgotten memories of ghosts and dragons, witches and forbidden forests.

Overall, there are fifteen English folklore tales, some as familiar as Jack and the Giant Killer from Cornwall, through to the less well known but equally inspiring Devil's Bargain from my own county of Lancashire.

All the stori
...more
Warren Rochelle
Apr 22, 2011 Warren Rochelle rated it really liked it
I have had this book on my "to be read" shelf for quite a long time (and we won't even try to figure how long it's been since I bought it--via Edward R. Hamilton, by the way, a used bookseller worth checking out). Published by the National Trust in England, it is a beautiful and well-made book. Many of the stories will be familiar, such as King Arthur and the Hideous Hag, Tom Tit Tot, Jack the Giant Killer, Robin Hood, and the Seventh Son.

What I found particularly noteworthy and interesting were
...more
David
Apr 01, 2014 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: good
A nice selection of some very different Folk/Fairy Tales. They are all rather intriguing and a little funny too, although some are a little flat-ended. The author herself has done well to write these up, and her prose is immediately likeable even if the stories (that she did not create) are sometimes not perfect.
It is well thought out too, with nice headings denoting where the story is from, and there are some interesting comprehensive notes in the back. Such a good one to have on the bookshelf.
...more
Margaret French
Jul 30, 2012 Margaret French rated it really liked it
Beautifully written versions of English fairy tales. Extensive notes. Reading folktales can be frustrating. Some versions, aimed at children, are uninteresting and stray too far from the traditional tales. Older versions are often off-putting because they're gory, bare-boned, archaic. Kerven's stories remind us of the enduring power of folktales.
Natalie
May 06, 2009 Natalie rated it really liked it
These are mostly "new" to us fairy tales. Only a couple of these tales were familiar and they had a different twist which made them brand new as well. I read them to my 7 yo daughter and 12 yo son. They loved them. They are a short treat before bedtime. I loved the language and the illustrations are lusciously eerie!
Lisa
Jan 16, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Most of the stories are new to me and those that are familiar have one or two differences that makes all the difference. A quick read, with a great section with notes on the sources of each separate story. It's a great place to start reading about the more traditional, less well known fairy stories. Additionally, it's an absolutely beautiful book - something to treasure.
Elizabeth Grieve
Jul 14, 2015 Elizabeth Grieve rated it really liked it
I liked this collection of fairy tales from different regions of England, most of them familiar but over years they would have been retold and given local associations. I would have perhaps liked to see more dialect words and renderings of regional accents etc, but it was well written and enjoyable.

Review of a preview copy from the publisher.
Sarah
Mar 18, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. The stories are about all the different counties of England and its a really pleasant read. I got it from a gift shop in one of the National Trust parks and read it on the plane when I was going on holiday. I absolutely love it and like to keep re-reading it.
Norain
Jul 20, 2010 Norain rated it really liked it
This book contains fifteen English fairy tales less known to most of us. The best part is the resourceful notes at the end of the book.

The design of the book is also very interesting, with high quality papers and beautiful drawings. I simply love it.
Carolina Morales
Mar 01, 2013 Carolina Morales rated it really liked it
One of the best "fairy tales" books that ever dropped into my hands. The source and explanation of british soul, in all its style and ironic amusement.
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