Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain

by Amy Jeffs

Hardcover, 2021



Call number



riverrun (2021), 384 pages


Soaked in mist and old magic, Storyland is a new illustrated mythology of Britain, set in its wildest landscapes. It begins between the Creation and Noah's Flood, follows the footsteps of the earliest generation of giants from an age when the children of Cain and the progeny of fallen angels walked the earth, to the founding of Britain, England, Wales and Scotland, the birth of Christ, the wars between Britons, Saxons and Vikings, and closes with the arrival of the Normans. These are retellings of medieval tales of legend, landscape and the yearning to belong, inhabited with characters now half-remembered: Brutus, Albina, Scota, Arthur and Bladud among them. Told with narrative flair, embellished in stunning artworks and glossed with a rich and erudite commentary. We visit beautiful, sacred places that include prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge and Wayland's Smithy, spanning the length of Britain from the archipelago of Orkney to as far south as Cornwall; mountains and lakes such as Snowdon and Loch Etive and rivers including the Ness, the Soar and the story-silted Thames in a vivid, beautiful tale of our land steeped in myth. It Illuminates a collective memory that still informs the identity and political ambition of these places. In Storyland, Jeffs reimagines these myths of homeland, exile and migration, kinship, loyalty, betrayal, love and loss in a landscape brimming with wonder.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member AmaliaGavea
'Our lives will encircle the sun, setting and rising, setting and rising. Stonehenge will endure; the red and white dragons will sleep on Dinas Emrys; and a happy Merlin will inhabit Caledonia while, to the south, children dance on the shoulders of giants.'

A beautiful, haunting, moving journey
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within the heart of the legends, the myths, the characters, and the convictions that shaped the British Isles. A monumental work, a true gem, for every lover of Mythology, History and Folklore.
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LibraryThing member moosenoose
“No sooner had she uttered the final malediction than her face grew rad, then purple, and then the vessels ruptured under her skin, until, with a horrible sound, her eyeballs burst out of her head and splattered onto the pages.”

A beautifully illustrated collection of mythological legends and
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tales depicting the ancient times of Britain, from the time of Noah through to the first Norman king; William the Conqueror.

We learn about magic, dragons, giants, many (many) battles and the people that make up Britain including the Picts, Saxons and Danes. Of course, no collection of stories on the ancient history of Britain would be complete without the giant gogmagog and the magical Merlin.

I felt the only negative aspect was the modernisation and adaptation of the tales. Many of these are already widely known and don’t need to be altered for the appreciation of a more modern audience.
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Waterstones Book of the Year (Shortlist — 2021)


Original language


Physical description

384 p.; 9.06 inches


1529407974 / 9781529407976
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