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Seven Miles of Steel Thistles: Reflections on Fairy Tales Paperback – 23 Apr 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The Greystones Press (23 April 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1911122045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1911122043
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.5 x 13.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 742,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Langrish is a first-rate storyteller". - Amanda Craig, The Times

"Seven Miles of Steel Thistles is luminous and insightful, bringing a deep knowledge and an acute eye to all the wise old lore of folk and fairy tales, songs, poems, and stories of mystery and enchantment. This is a must read for anyone who has an abiding interest in the stories that have shaped our cultural imagination". - Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greens

"Katherine Langrish is a wonderful companion for an excursion into the otherworld of traditional tale. High readable, sharply perceptive about individual tales as well as engaging with wider motifs, this book (developed from a popular and long-running blog) is always down-to-earth, no matter how high flown the subject matter. We know we're in safe hands when we're invited to consider why folk-tale fools and saints can be rather frightening, or to take account of who is telling a story and why, to reflect on how some reports of ghostly happenings (as opposed to structured stories) are almost impossible to discount, and to recognise the role of princesses in fairy tales ('They tell us to be active, to use our wits, to be undaunted, to see what we want and to go for it.') The book is so generously furnished with apt quotations as to seem at times almost like an anthology, and it will appeal to absolutely everyone fascinated by the staying power of folk tales, fairy tales and ballads". - Kevin Crossley-Holland, Author of Norse Myths, winner of the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Fiction award for his children's books, President of the School Library Association.

"Langrish has been collecting fairytales for goodness knows how long, and her knowledge and frame of reference are phenomenal ... What she has done so brilliantly, either making general points or addressing specific stories or themes, is tell us stories about the stories: where they might have come from, what they might mean, or whether they are meant to mean anything." - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

"The entire collection is readable, and its many subsections invite the reader to linger and reflect on each topic before diving into the next chapter ... her treatment of the texts and of complex issues such as the interplay between written and oral narratives is sophisticated. The book will be of particular interest to enthusiastic readers of fairy tales, and educators might consider assigning single essays to supplement other readings." - Sarah Cleto, Gramarye Winter 2016.

Book Description

Seven Miles of Steel Thistles’ is a collection of essays on fairy tales and folklore, based on Katherine Langrish’s popular blog of the same name. The essays reflect upon subjects as diverse as fairy brides and Japanese fox-spirits, ghostly White Ladies, the role of fairy-tale heroines, and what happened to the Lost Kings of Fairyland. She examines a number of specific tales such as 'Briar Rose', 'Jorinda and Joringel', 'Bluebeard' and 'Mr Fox', and considers why and in what circumstances people have been prepared actually to believe in fairies.

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4 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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2 August 2016
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
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1 September 2016
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7 May 2016
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14 November 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
Shirley Oskamp
5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic, Insightful Book!
22 April 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback