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Nicholas Jubber

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Nicholas Jubber is the author of five non-fiction books and a winner of the Dolman Travel Book Award.

His journeys have taken him across the Middle East to Ethiopia in search of a mythical priest-king, across Afghanistan in the wake of a medieval poet, around the Sahara with nomadic communities and across Europe in the slipstream of its epic tales.

He has spoken at literary festivals in Hay-on-Wye, Cheltenham, Edinburgh and Rome, amongst many others, as well as on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3 and NPR, and has also written for the stage, along with working as a teacher, film extra and, briefly, a washer of Persian carpets.

Nicholas Jubber is sponsored by

The Fairy Tellers: the history behind the tales

From a soldier-of-fortune in 17th century Italy, who fought against the Ottomans and drank at the same bars as Caravaggio, to a Russian dissident involved in a plot to assassinate the Tsar, some of the people behind our most iconic fairy tales lived lives as dramatic as the stories they wrote. In this talk, Nicholas Jubber delves into the history behind some of our most beloved fairy tales, as well as many that have been long forgotten, a story that takes us from medieval times to the development of the children’s book industry in the nineteenth century. 

 Jubber shows how historical and political circumstances helped to shape many of these tales: whether the impact of the Napoleonic occupation on the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, or how the religious temper of Louis XIV’s court influenced the circle that invented the term ‘fairy tale’ in the late 17th century. Zooming in on a handful of storytellers from his book, The Fairy Tellers, he shows how the detail of their lives overlapped with, and had a profound effect on, the stories they chose to tell and the way in which they told them, an effect that we continue to live with today.

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