Victorian Fairy Tales by Michael Newton

I recently bought Victorian Fairy Tales by Michael Newton because I thought it would be a nice book to relax before going to bed. Well, some of the parts in these tales were a bit dreadful, but overall the stories were nice. Michael Newton edited this version, which contains tales by W. M. Thackeray, Oscar Wilde, Ford Madox Ford, Rudyard Kipling, George MacDonald, Juliana Ewing, Mary De Morgan, and Andrew Lang.

My favourite tale was The Story of the Herons by Laurence Housman. That is so worth reading. Some tales are only a few pages long, while others have around 50 pages and are divided in chapters. The book contains a selection of original illustrations and those are lovely, especially the king hit in the head with a warming pan.

Victorian Fairy Tales by Michael Newton

I think Newton picked very interesting tales for this edition, as some are romantic, some are about family or suffering. I highly recommend this book for this reason. While I can’t say I know a lot about Victorian fairy tales, I think this book offers an insight into their moral views and, of course, into what they found entertaining. Which makes me think that some Victorian would have loved TV series like Game of Thrones and Walking Dead.

Victorian Fairy Tales by Michael Newton

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My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Oxford University Press – Oxford World’s Classics
Year it was published: 2016
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Fantasy
Pages: 444

About the author: Michael Newton has taught at University College London, Princeton University, and Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, and now works at Leiden University. He is the author of Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children, Age of Assassins: A History of Conspiracy and Political Violence, 1865-1981, and a book on Kind Hearts and Coronets for the BFI Film Classics series. Newton has edited Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son for Oxford World’s Classics, and The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories and Conrad’s The Secret Agent for Penguin. He has written and reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, the New Statesman, and The Guardian.
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3 thoughts on “Victorian Fairy Tales by Michael Newton”

  • Beautiful edition! Great that they reprint the original illustrations, how fascinating. I haven’t read this anthology, but have read quite a few Victorian tales. I also have several volumes of fairy tales from the Folio society. Many of the fairy tales are extremely grim and inappropriate now.

  • This sounds really fun. I don’t know much about Victorian fairy tales, but I do know the Grimms’ tales were often very frightening – maybe not the best bedtime reading!
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    • I was raised with stories from the Grimms brothers. It would be interested to read them now, and, most likely, be shocked that these were believed to be suitable for children.

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