"By focusing on these tellers, by travelling among them, by reading what they told us about their lives, we are reminded that fairy tales are cooked in specific places..."

In The Fairy Tellers, I explore the lives of seven key figures in the history of fairy tales, from a Neapolitan soldier-of-fortune to a Danish icon, stopping along the way with a Russian revolutionary, a bankrupt French aristocrat, a medieval Indian courtier, a German apothecary's daughter and a Syrian youth running from a career in the souk, This is a journey into the secret history of some of our most beloved tales.

Read about 'the dark side of fairy tales' here, read my recommendations for books about fairy tales here, or listen to me talk about the medieval roots of fairy tales on the History Hit podcast here

'A riveting quest to find the stories behind the stories.' The Financial Times

'A captivating journey into the history of the fairy tale.' BBC History Magazine

'An absolutely fascinating book.' Monocle

Selected as The Times audiobook of the week, a Love Reading non-fiction book of the month and a Financial Times book of the summer

'refreshingly broad... lively, wide-ranging...' Times Literary Supplement

'He explores with verve the people who told the stories, the landscapes that forged them and the cultures that formed them.' Frost Magazine

‘Nick Jubber is a master storyteller whose endless curiosity, wit and panache bring the lives of key fairy tale tellers to vibrant life... I adored it!’ Dr Kate Forsyth, author of The Wild Girl

'A carnival of a book, rigorously researched and jostling with life.’ Amy Jeffs, author of Storyland

'The Fairy Tellers is a dazzling treasury of observation. erudition, and folklore - recounted with spellbinding sensitivity and grace.' Tahir Shah, author of In Arabian Nights

'Fantastic, moreish and utterly original. With The Fairy Tellers, Jubber not only takes us through some wildly eclectic histories and landscapes, he also reminds us of what heights travel writing is capable,' Caroline Eden, author of Black Sea

'In this rich and sparkling journey, Jubber follows the ink trails of the great storytellers of the past, weaving a tale of his own by turns witty, bawdy, poignant, always eye-opening.' Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, author of Beyond the Northlands

‘Jubber’s life-long appreciation for storytelling as well as the immersive travel and literary detective work that went into creating The Fairy Tellers contribute to the many riches of this volume, in particular the surprising new perspectives on renowned as well as lesser-known authors and collections that it offers.' Dr Nancy L. Canepa, author of From Court to Forest: Giambattista Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti and the birth of the literary fairy tale


  • Inside the gingerbread house in Grimmwelt, Kassel
  • The Witches' Guild in Waldkirch
  • Floating Gardens, Kashmir
  • A house with Grimm scenes in Steinau
The Witches of Waldkirch