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The Coming of the Unicorn
Regular price $18.00
Scottish Folk Tales for Children
by Duncan Williamson; Edited by Linda Williamson
'Stories are something you carry with you, something to last your entire life, to be passed on to your children, and their children for evermore.'
Duncan Williamson came from a family of Travelling People, who told stories around the campfire for entertainment and for teaching. As a child, Duncan learnt the ways of the world through stories: 'My father's knowledge told us how to live in this world as natural human beings -- not to be greedy, not to be foolish, not to be daft or selfish -- by stories.'
In this collection, he passes on some of these wonderful children's folk and fairy tales. For over sixty years Duncan travelled around Scotland -- on foot, then in a horse and cart, and later an old van -- collecting tales, which not only come from the Travelling People but from the crofters, farmers and shepherds he met along the way.
This collection includes tales about cunning foxes and storytelling cats, hunchbacked ogres and beautiful unicorns, helpful broonies and mysterious fairies, rich kings and fearsome warriors, as well as those about ordinary folk trying to make their way in the world. The stories have been written down as faithfully as possible to Duncan's unique storytelling voice, full of colour, humour and life.
Recommended by the publisher for children aged 8-12 years. Nest owners Lisa & John-Paul can recommend some stories for children as young as 6 years and up. A good anthology of bedtime stories for siblings spanning ages.
216 x 138 mm, 160 pages.
Floris Books, 2012.
About the Author
Duncan Williamson is a Floris Books featured author. Read all about this author's life and work on our dedicated author page.
Duncan Williamson was born in 1928 on the shores of Loch Fyne. He was the seventh of sixteen children born to a family of Travellers, who set up camp in the same place every winter and wandered the Highlands during the summer, hawking their tin and natural willow wares. Duncan left home at the age of fifteen and spent the next forty years travelling, continuing the traditional trades of his people. In 1980 he moved into a farm cottage in Fife with his second wife, Linda, who transcribed some of his vast repertoire of songs, stories and family history. Duncan died in 2007, leaving behind a worldwide legacy. His reputation was extraordinary and the impact of his storytelling continues in literary editions of his work, published by Canongate, Cambridge University Press, Penguin, Mondadori, and more recently Birlinn, Luath Press and Floris Books.
Linda Williamson was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1949. She has a PhD from Edinburgh University, and is an American folklorist, storyteller and editor. She has three children and five grandchildren -- on both sides of the Atlantic.
Find out more about Duncan Williamson, his life and his storytelling on the Duncan Williamson Biographypage.
'A fine collection to share, whether read aloud or told.'
-- Kirkus Reviews
'Mesmerising Scottish storyteller... Duncan Williamson was one of the most celebrated storytellers in Scotland ... one of the world's best-known storytellers'
-- The Times
'The story-teller and singer Duncan Williamson was one of the greatest voices of Scots traveller culture'
-- The Independent
'Scotland's greatest contemporary storyteller'
-- The Guardian
'Scotland's greatest traditional storyteller'
-- The Scotsman
'A wonderful collection of Scottish folk and fairy tales for children. The stories are beautifully told and perfectly written to be read aloud to the small child or children in your life.'
'This engaging collection of Scottish folktales opens with a splendid bit of scene-setting in the introduction.'
-- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
'Thae stories hae been fashiont frae the claith buttons o fowk memory. They are as auld as the hills an, lik Jack, wha fun the Keeng's keys tae the "Garden of Youth", they are eildless.'