Book Review: Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland

This is a lovely and unusual collection of folktales by Lisa Schneidau, a professional storyteller with a background as an ecologist working with organisations to restore nature in the landscape. Lisa has collected a number of tales from around Britain and Ireland in response to recognising a need for a certain style of indigenous tale, having observed storytellers at nature reserves telling First Nation Coyote tales and African Anansi tales. Great tales, but divorced from the flora and fauna of the landscape of the tellings.

These are 39 tradition tales then, told in her own words, each with a little write up and arranged according to a seasonal cycle. Some ancient and well known, some more recent in origin, some known across Britain, some very local in tradition, these stories delve into the relationship between the occupants of these islands and its complex landscapes and trees and plants throughout the wheel of the year. To anybody who loves a good yarn, or storyteller who is looking for a tale to suit the season, this little book comes highly recommended.

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