Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

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Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

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Little has hosted a range of podcasts and shows, her awards include LGBTQI+ Broadcaster of the Year, Future Leader and Rising Star at WOW. Eimear McBride on the other hand tells the story of Kathleen almost as is, albeit with some stunning prose stylings mixed in. It has both given me a much longer TBR pile, and also made me want to complete a 'Hag tour' so I can explore the areas it describes. I've been working my way slowly through Fen and not wanting it to end - Daisy marries realism to the uncanny so well that the strangest turnings ring as truth. This collection includes an introduction by Carolyne Larrington who is an author and professor of medieval literature at Oxford University.

This kind of commentary, butting into the narrative every so often, comes off as comic; but it also reminds us that because these tales have no original per se, since they are defined by their endless retelling. Highly recommended, particularly for those readers interested in becoming acquainted with a flavour of the range of British folk tales and their retelling. The dark, gothic influenced, traditional folk tales are sourced from all corners of the British Isles, originating from the oral tradition, and fittingly this collection began as podcasts that evolved into these fascinating curated stories by Carolyne Larrington, professor of Medieval English Literature.

I liked the elements of magical realism; this story really reminded me of Sue Rainsford's Follow Me To Ground. Originally this collection was a published as an Audible podcast where the authors were interviewed after each version of their folktales.

The Panther's Tale' by Mahsuda Snaith, based on the tale around Chillington House, was beautifully imaginative and a real surprise. We will be happy to offer you a full refund, replacement or exchange on any items excluding custom prints, Goldfinger + Tate furniture, face coverings and pierced earrings.In her preface, Larrington states that many of the stories “are in dialogue with ‘folk-horror’ or the ‘new weird’”. To discover more content exclusive to our print and digital editions, subscribe here to receive a copy of The London Magazine to your door every two months, while also enjoying full access to our extensive digital archive of essays, literary journalism, fiction and poetry. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, the Observer, the Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications.

There is a vague whiff of her legacy to be found here - a few incidents of sensuality, a few moments that address female appetites – but overall Hag lacks the creativity, imagination and, quite frankly, the subtle yet pointed political engagement that make The Bloody Chamber so compelling. I remember reading the story of the Green Children as a little boy, and Johnson’s retelling evoked the same nightmarish, claustrophobic yet strangely thrilling feelings that the tale had first instilled in me many years back. Among the best stories are those which let the original material speak for itself, albeit in a changed context. Meanwhile Emma Glass’s ‘The Dampness Is Spreading’ approaches the tale of the fairy midwife by turning it into the story of an exhausted hospital worker haunted by grim thoughts, leaving us unsure what is real – much like her novel Rest and Be Thankful. From the islands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall, the mountains of Galway to the depths of the Fens, these forgotten folktales howl, cackle, and sing their way into the 21st century, wildly reimagined by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today.A collection of short stories that are retellings of British folklore and mythology selected and introduced by Professor Carolyne Larrington. We can’t know what Kathleen looked like, says the author, and so ‘we are, generally, at liberty to envisage her as we fancy’. Gowar leaves it up to the reader to decide what is or isn't supernatural, but her adaptation of 'Old Farmer Mole' is chilling, violent and oddly hopeful. DARK, POTENT AND UNCANNY, HAG BURSTS WITH THE UNTOLD STORIES OF OUR ISLES, CAPTURED IN VOICES AS VARIED AS THEY ARE VIVID. Maybe I would have enjoyed this collection more if I hadn't already known the folklore and folktales they're supposed to be based on, but most of them were so far removed from their origin that they essentially weren't.

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