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Search tags: folklore-etc-criticism
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review 2016-03-06 20:54
Mad, Sad, or Bad? Or all three?
Mad Madame Lalaurie: New Orleans's Most Famous Murderess Revealed (True Crime) - Lorelei Shannon,Victoria Cosner Love

While I did not find the writing dry, the book could have easily been more than what it was. The authors do a somewhat good job at putting forward a possible real story of the famed murderess. The problem is that some of their proof is just as fleeting as the proof for the more sordid stories.

Still, if you are interested in the story, it might be worth reading.

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review 2016-01-13 17:50
Some Day Your Witch Will Come (Fairy-Tale Studies) - Kay Stone

The bulk of the essays are on storytelling - oral - which make for technical if interesting reads.  The feminist essays are the most easy to read, in particular her ones about how women respond to Disney fairy tales.

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text 2015-12-12 14:50
From the Forest: A Search for the Hidden Roots of our Fairytales - Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland can write beautifully about nature. Some of the passages in this book describing trees are wonderful.

However, it is not really about the sub-title. And quite frankly, just read Zipes who Maitland draws heavily on. Most of her "facts" are guesses and sometimes she is just plain wrong. I'm sorry but there are books out there about the forest in the fairy tale besides this one.

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review 2015-09-16 16:07
The Land of the Green Man: A Journey Through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles - Carolyne Larrington

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

               

                There is one thing wrong with this book.  Let’s get it out of the way first.  How can you write a book that deals with English Folklore, that mentions the influence on modern writers, and yet not mention, even in passing, Terry Pratchett?  It’s true that there is already a book about Discworld and folklore, but still.  It’s like this huge turtle hanging over the book.

 

                That aside, this book is pretty good.  Larrington details various folklore and legends of the countryside.  The book is more than just the Green Man, but also fairies, selkies, and ghostly dogs.  Larrington’s retelling of the various tales is solid, and she includes varieties.  What is particularly interesting is her analysis of various tales.

 

                She is able to connect selkie tales to marriage stories and how a woman might view marriage.  In fact, if you have read Gould’s Spinning Straw Into Gold, Larrington’s book makes an good companion read.  Larrington’s anaylsis adds another level to the idea of the Beauty and the Beast as tale preparing women for marriage.  Additionally, her reading of the Finn saga, and in particular Sadb, is actually pretty mind blowing.  It made me want to re-read the stories with her analysis in mind. 

 

                Larrington also connects the stories to modern work.  If you are fan of Neil Gaiman, this book is worth reading for her gets several pages.  Less popular authors and works get credit too, and there is a good chance that you will want to track down a newspaper article or two.

 

                All in all, this is a good book about folklore connected to the landscape.

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review 2015-07-22 23:25
My edition is from 1911.
The Classic Myths in English Literature & in Art - Charles Mills Gayley

This is the type of book that should come back into print. It is a collection of Greek and Norse myths that appear regularly in literature and art. The end notes include not only a discussion about interpreting the stories, but also what works in literature and art to look at.

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