The Book of English Folk Tales by Sybil Marshall and John Lawrence

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The Book of English Folk Tales by Sybil Marshall and John Lawrence

Marshall EFT.jpg
Buy The Book of English Folk Tales by Sybil Marshall and John Lawrence at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Anthologies
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Amy Etherington
Reviewed by Amy Etherington
Summary: Out of print for over thirty years, this wonderful collection has been re-printed to delight a new generation of readers. For lovers of folk lore, this beautiful book is certainly worth picking up.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: November 2016
Publisher: Overlook Press
ISBN: 978-1468313178

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From ghosts to witches, to giants and fairies, The Book of English Folk Tales is a fascinating collection of stories retold by social historian and folklorist Sybil Marshall. Out of print for over three decades, this beautiful new clothbound edition is complete with wood engraved illustrations by John Lawrence and is sure to capture the attention of a new generation of lovers of folklore.

I've always been fascinated by fairy tales and folklore; those original stories from a time long since past that still inspires novels and films to this day. Considering this is a collection of English folk tales, I'm a little ashamed to say I was unfamiliar with most of the stories. Unlike the tales from the Brothers Grimm which are still remarkably well known and loved today, our own English folk tales seemed to have become lost in time. For that, I'm grateful to Sybil Marshall for putting this collection together and to Overlook Press for re-issuing this enchanting book to help captivate a new audience and reintroduce these tales.

The stories are split into various categories with each section dedicated to exploring myths and tales which shed light on all number of magical beings. There are tales solely focused on dragons or fairies while others take a darker turn in examining the ways of the devil and demons, all of which are cloaked in the morals that fairy and folk tales are so well known for. You could come back to this collection again and again and the stories within the pages would never age. They are exquisitely written and have a timeless quality to them which allows them to feel both familiar and unfamiliar simultaneously.

John Lawrence's illustrations are simple yet gorgeous and work wonderfully alongside the text. His wood engravings are traditional but they have a unique quality to them that feels faithful to the stories, but also allows you to use your imagination. These tales are certainly imaginative and I'm sorry that I didn't know of them prior to this re-release, but I'm glad I was given the opportunity to read them.

This is a beautiful collection that is stunningly presented and would make a wonderful gift for lovers of folklore, especially for those who want to expand their knowledge of English folk tales.

Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this collection sounds as though it may interest you, then perhaps try Rags and Bones by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt (Editors) which contains short fairy tale retellings from authors such as Garth Nix and Neil Gaiman.

Buy The Book of English Folk Tales by Sybil Marshall and John Lawrence at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Book of English Folk Tales by Sybil Marshall and John Lawrence at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Book of English Folk Tales by Sybil Marshall and John Lawrence at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Book of English Folk Tales by Sybil Marshall and John Lawrence at Amazon.com.

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