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Literary Criticism Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

Children into Swans

Fairy Tales and the Pagan Imagination

by (author) Jan Beveridge

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2014
Category
Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780773596177
    Publish Date
    Oct 2014
    List Price
    $34.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780773543942
    Publish Date
    Oct 2014
    List Price
    $34.95

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Description

Fairy tales are alive with the supernatural - elves, dwarfs, fairies, giants, and trolls, as well as witches with magic wands and sorcerers who cast spells and enchantments. Children into Swans examines these motifs in a range of ancient stories.

Moving from the rich period of nineteenth-century fairy tales back as far as the earliest folk literature of northern Europe, Jan Beveridge shows how long these supernatural features have been a part of storytelling, with ancient tales, many from Celtic and Norse mythology, that offer glimpses into a remote era and a pre-Christian sensibility. The earliest stories often show significant differences from what we might expect. Elves mingle with Norse gods, dwarfs belong to a proud clan of magician-smiths, and fairies are shape-shifters emerging from the hills and the sea mist. In story traditions with roots in a pre-Christian imagination, an invisible other world exists alongside our own.

From the lost cultures of a thousand years ago, Children into Swans opens the door on some of the most extraordinary worlds ever portrayed in literature - worlds that are both starkly beautiful and full of horrors.

About the author

Jan Beveridge is an independent researcher. She lives in Elora, Ontario.

Jan Beveridge's profile page