The Librarian’s Cellar: Five Favourite Fairy ‘ish’ tales for Adults!

“For those who immerse themselves in what the fairy tale has to communicate, it becomes a deep, quiet pool which at first seems to reflect only our own image; but behind it we soon discover the inner turmoils of our soul – its depth, and ways to gain peace within ourselves and with the world, which is the reward of our struggles.”

Bruno Bettelheim The Uses of Enchantment: The Meanings and Importance of Fairy Tales


There is nothing that delights me more than opening a beautifully crafted book of fairy, myth, legend, horror or supernatural theme, complete with illustrations.  Though many of the classics have been sanitized over the years, the best of them still retain that undercurrent of darkness to them. Whatever the genre, be it a tale of horror, parable, allegory, ode or omen, all, I believe, can have a delightful appeal to adults. Here are five of my favourites. Go explore!


The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. Illustrations by Chris Riddell



Twisted Fairy Tales  by Maura McHugh. Illustrations by Jane Laurie



The Beach at Night by Elena Ferrante. Translated by Ann Goldstein. Illustrations by Mara Cerri



The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger



Tales of the Macabre by Edgar Allan Poe.

Illustrations by Benjamin Lacombe [My reason for selecting this version!]







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