The Canterbury Tales tells the story of a group of 30 pilgrims who meet at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, and travel together to visit the shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury cathedral. The tavern host, who accompanies them, suggests that they amuse one another along the way by telling stories.
The Scientific Method (a Wandering Koala tale): Jeff Thomason
Marina Warner has loved fairy tales over her long writing career, and she explores here a multitude of tales through the ages, their different manifestations on the page, the stage, and the screen. From the phenomenal rise of Victorian and Edwardian literature to contemporary children´s stories, Warner unfolds a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers´ Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen´s The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney´s Snow White and gothic interpretations such as Pan´s Labyrinth. In ten succinct chapters, Marina Warner digs into a rich collection of fairy tales in their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. She makes a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repository of human understanding and culture.
From the much-loved and perennially popular writer and TV personality, comes an enthralling account of some of the greatest stories in history - the Greek Myths. Filled with warfare and worship, love affairs and life lessons, and triumphs and tragedies, he captures these tales for the modern age.
While the modern children´s book, intended specifically for the enjoyment of children, did not emerge until 18th-century Europe, its roots span centuries and continents: children´s literature began with fables, myths and folk tales from the oral tradition. A History of the Children´s Book in 100 Books takes a global perspective and traces the development of the genre from ancient stories such as Aesop´s Fables and the Indian Panchatantra, through the Puritan primers of the 17th century, to the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, to the highly collectable Ladybird books of the 20th century, and up to modern classics and bestsellers such as the Harry Potter series. Illustrations have often been key components of children´s stories, visualizing fantastic scenes and making them instantly recognizable. Original artwork from iconic illustrators such as Arthur Rackham, Walter Crane and John Tenniel is beautifully reproduced throughout.
The ancient civilization of Mesopotamia thrived between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates over 4,000 years ago. The myths collected here, originally written in cuneiform on clay tablets, include parallels with the biblical stories of the Creation and the Flood, and the famous Epic of Gilgamesh, the tale of a man of great strength, whose heroic quest for immortality is dashed through one moment of weakness. Recent developments in Akkadian grammar and lexicography mean that this new translation, complete with notes, a glossary of deities, place-names, and key terms, and illustrations of the mythical monsters featured in the text, will replace all other versions.
Rumi´s Masnavi is widely recognized as the greatest Sufi poem ever written, and has been called ´´the Koran in Persian.´´ The thirteenth-century Muslim mystic Rumi composed his work for the benefit of his disciples in the Sufi order named after him, better known as the whirling dervishes. In order to convey his message of divine love and unity he threaded together entertaining stories and penetrating homilies. Drawing from folk tales as well as sacred history, Rumi´s poem is often funny as well as spiritually profound. Jawid Mojaddedi´s sparkling new verse translation of Book One is consistent with the aims of the original work in presenting Rumi´s most mature mystical teachings in simple and attractive rhyming couplets.
The Poetic Edda comprises a treasure trove of mythic and spiritual verse holding an important place in Nordic culture, literature, and heritage. Its tales of strife and death form a repository, in poetic form, of Norse mythology and heroic lore, embodying both the ethical views and the cultural life of the North during the late heathen and early Christian times. Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably during the twelfth or thirteenth century, The Poetic Edda was rediscovered in Iceland in the seventeenth century by Danish scholars. Even then its value as poetry, as a source of historical information, and as a collection of entertaining stories was recognized. This meticulous translation succeeds in reproducing the verse patterns, the rhythm, the mood, and the dignity of the original in a revision that Scandinavian Studies says ´´may well grace anyone´s bookshelf.´´