Book Review: Tales Before Narnia

That's the Snow Queen on the front, looking for all the world like the White Witch.

Title: Tales Before Narnia: The Roots of Modern Fantasy and Science Fiction
Editor: Douglas A. Anderson
Format: Book; Collection of short stories and poems
Pages: 339
Published: 2008, by Del Rey
Reason for Beginning: Lewis is one of my “literary mentors,” as it were, in both fantasy and philosophy, and I love exploring the things that inspired him.
Reason for Finishing: It’s a wonderful collection! And some of the stories are now among my favorites.
Spoiler-free Synopsis: A collection of tales that inspired C.S. Lewis or shared similar themes/ideas with his works.
Re-readability: Definitely high. The variety of authors ensures a variety of writing styles, so if some don’t suit you, something else likely will. I borrowed this from the library, and will have to buy a copy for myself. Read more

Book Review: “Undine” (1811) by Friedrich Fouque

Cover of the edition illustrated by Katharine Cameron

Title: Undine
Author: Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Format: Novella
Pages: 65 (in the compilation book Tales Before Narnia by Douglas A. Anderson)
Published: Original German: 1811. English translation by F.E. Burnett: 1885.
Reason for Beginning: George MacDonald called it the most beautiful of all fairy tales he knew (and he knew a thing or two about great fairy tales, having written some himself). C.S. Lewis wrote of its “homely beauty” and haunting Northernness.
Reason for Finishing: It intrigued and continually surprised me all to the end. Read more