The fabulous illustrations of Walter Anderson brought forth this brilliant retelling of twenty tales from world literature, a book first published in 1987 and now back into print at the demand of appreciators of Ellen Douglas's fiction and of Anderson's art. Here for a wide range of readers Douglas recounts fairy tales, classical stories, myths, and adventure stories that inspired Anderson to create these enchanting pictures.
Douglas's special gift for storytelling weaves an alluring spell that is intensified by twenty-four of Anderson's most spectacular works. These are reproduced in full color and are adapted from his linoleum block prints of tremendous size (18 in. x 6 ft.) and hand colored by his niece Adele Anderson Lawton.
This indeed is a document of art's power to excite the imagination. What is the elusive quality in narrative that draws out the illustrator's response? And the quality in illustration that compels the teller of stories to elucidate? Just as great tales piqued Anderson to create these fantastical pictures, his illustrations motivated Douglas to take them back to their source, the word. From the Brothers Grimm, Ovid, Malory, Burton, Perrault, and other great storytellers she has retold her refreshingly appealing versions of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Magic Carpet, The Fisherman and the Genie, Sinbad and the Roc, Rapunzel, The Six Swans, Thumbelina, The Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Prince, The White Cat, Puss in Boots, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Bremen Town Musicians, Jack the Giant Killer, The Birth and Coronation of Arthur, Cupid and Psyche, Androcles and the Lion, Europa and the Bull, and The Golden Apples of the Hesperides. In recounting them anew, she gives them fresh insights while retaining their eternal charm.