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As some of you fairy-tale followers will know, I have decided to self-publish the five tales I have translated into a book, A String of Pearls, which will be coming out this autumn. This has involved a huge amount of work over the past year, with a lot of help from friends and colleagues around me, and I'm so excited to share the results with you all.
Not only will these fairy tales be appearing for the first time in English (apart from the few drafts I've posted already on this blog), they will also be illustrated by professional artist Susan Sansome and published with an introduction by myself and a foreword by Oxford-based academic Dr. Joanna Neilly, author of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination (2016).
The stories will be of interest both to fairy tale enthusiasts and to those taking a more academic approach, particularly to students and tutors wishing to expand their literature curriculum to include more women's voices. My project aims to recover and revitalise some of the lost voices of the hundreds of German women who wrote and published fairy tales in the nineteenth century but have since been forgotten, women who used the genre as a subversive vehicle for critique of patriarchal values and conventions, such as the importance of marriage and the denial of education to women.
We meet the conventional adventurous children, wicked queens, handsome princes and talking animals, but also some figures that don’t seem quite so familiar: a wise, educated ruling queen; a powerful, vengeful nymph who we see in the illustration below; and not a knight in shining armour, but a brave young woman ready to save a sleeping prince.
If you would like to reserve a copy from the first limited print-run, do go ahead and get in touch by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your address along with how many copies you'd like, plus any special requests (e.g. a note addressed to a particular person inside the front cover).
Each copy will be £4.99 + P&P for a beautifully illustrated paperback edition. I won't be asking for payment until I have the printed copies ready to post (hopefully some time in the autumn), but at that point I will get in touch with everyone who's contacted me to reserve their copies to arrange payment.
Thank you all for your support, I hope you're as excited about this as I am!
The stories have no explicit content, but some of the tales have some slightly darker themes. Given they were written in the nineteenth century, the language can be quite dense (think Dickens!) so it's not a fairy tale collection aimed at children. Depending on maturity and reading ability, I would suggest 12+ (and a twelve year old would probably learn lots of new words in the process!)