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Fenrir’s Fetter and the Power of Stories, by Katherine Langrish

Recorded Talks and Lectures

Doc Rowe’s film of ‘Fenrir’s Fetter and the Power of Stories,’ by Katherine Langrish, the 2022 Katharine Briggs Lecture, can be watched on YouTube.

Katherine Langrish, author of historical fantasies and essays on folklore and fairy tales, gave the lecture on Tuesday 8 November at 18:30 at Conway Hall, London

‘Fenrir’s Fetter and the Power of Stories.’ 

On the power of stories for both good and ill.

JRR Tolkien wrote: “Spell means both a story told, and a formula of power over living men.” This is a talk about the power of stories – folk tales, fairy tales, the scary urban myths children tell one another – and those stories handed down in families, communities and nations which confer identity and pride, but which can become exclusionary. Stories may offer wisdom, solace, joy; they may also frighten or alienate. For good or ill they can change our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us.

Katherine Langrish is the creator of the award-winning blog Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, dedicated to the discussion of folklore, fairy tales and fantasy. Her books for children are influenced by her love of folk tales and include Troll Fell, Troll Mill and Troll Blood, and Dark Angels which was nominated for the American Library Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011). Katherine contributed to First Light, essays for Alan Garner’s 80th birthday compiled by Erica Wagner (Unbound, 2016), and her own book of essays on folklore and fairy tales, Seven Miles of Steel Thistles (Greystones Press 2016) was described by Professor Jacqueline Simpson in Folklore as ‘elegant, vivid, and frequently witty’. Her most recent title From Spare Oom to War Drobe: Travels in Narnia with my nine year-old self (Darton Longman & Todd 2021) was praised by Neil Gaiman and received excellent reviews. Katherine lives in Oxfordshire and loves to go hill-walking with her brown-spotted Dalmatian, Polly.