Fairytale tellers of Merton

Date: Saturday 27 May 2023
Time: 14:00 - 18:00

Admission free but advance booking required

TS Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College

An afternoon event celebrating Merton College’s historic relationship with fairytales and their retelling.

The College was famously home to JRR Tolkien; perhaps less well known is that it was also home to Andrew Lang (1844–1912) a pioneering anthropologist, folklorist, poet and novelist whose 12 ‘Colour Fairy Books’, produced with his wife, Nora, brought the world of international Fairytales to generations of children in the 19th and 20th Centuries. It was also home to Roger Lancelyn Green (1918 –1987), fellow Inkling and close friend of CS Lewis, whose clear and confident retellings of fairytales and myths in the 1960’s nourished the generation of children’s writers who came to prominence in the 1990’s. The college was also home to celebrated translators of the Epic of Gilgamesh (R. Campbell-Thompson) and of Chaucer (Nevill Coghill).

This rich and inspiring day features talks by Andrew Teverson (Pro Vice-Chancellor, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London) and by Diane Purkiss (Professor of English Literature, Oxford University, Director of Studies in English, Keble College), and a storytelling performance of a fairytale by Ben Haggarty (Visiting Research Fellow in the Creative Arts, Merton).