Fifty Tales, or The Heart of the Matter

By Hugh Lupton

Hugh Lupton reaches into world mythology and shares fifty tales from the heart of his repertoire.

Short stories | Recently added
34% funded
199 supporters
Funding
Support this project
Make Fifty Tales, or The Heart of the Matter a reality – choose your reward below.
$40  + shipping
101 pledges

Hardback

First edition hardback.

PLUS:

  • Ebook
  • Your name in the back of the book
Choose this reward
$75  + shipping
11 pledges

Book Bundle

Signed first edition hardback and signed copies of Hugh’s two novels ‘The Ballad of John Clare’ and ‘The Assembly of the Severed Head’.
LIMITED TO 20.

PLUS:

  • Ebook
  • Your name in the back of the book
Choose this reward
$75  + shipping
9 pledges

Storytelling Bundle

Signed first edition hardback and signed copies of two of Hugh’s storytelling CDs.
LIMITED TO 50.

PLUS:

  • Ebook
  • Your name in the back of the book
Choose this reward
$100  + shipping
7 pledges

Read with a Friend

You and a friend will receive two signed first edition hardbacks.

PLUS:

  • Two ebooks
  • Up to two names in the back of the book
Choose this reward
$225  + shipping

Book Club

Five signed first edition hardbacks with five names in the back, and a virtual visit to your book club from the author.

PLUS:

  • Five ebooks
  • Up to five names in the back of the book
Choose this reward
$1,500  + shipping

Patron

Signed first edition hardback with your name in the front of the book and a live solo performance by the author, in aid of the charity of your choice.
LIMITED TO 5. England/Wales only.

PLUS:

  • Ebook
  • Your name in the back and front of the book
Choose this reward

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We deliver to most countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book.

How do supporter names work?

Every person who pledges to help to make a book gets their name included in a supporter section as a thank you as long as they pledge before the list closing deadline. If you want to add a different name, this can be changed in your account after you have completed your pledge.

Will the book and rewards that I receive look the same as the images shown on the Unbound website?

Book designs, cover and other images are for illustrative purposes and may differ from final design.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

Stories are living things. They are viral.

They enter us through our eyes or our ears and they take up residence inside us. Sometimes they haunt us, sometimes they advise us, sometimes they amuse, perplex, gratify, contradict, intrigue, celebrate, terrify, challenge, arouse, confuse us. Some stories are distractions and diversions, others hover on the edge of revelation. Some have a short lifespan and are quickly forgotten, others linger inside us for a lifetime.

As a storyteller they’re my stock in trade.

But I’m choosy.

If I’m going to absorb a story, make it my own, and then pass it on to an audience, it’s got to be worth its salt. That’s why I’ve always told traditional narratives - stories from that winding track that leads from nursery rhyme to the great tales of creation and redemption, by way of ballads, riddles, folk-tales, wonder-tales, legends, epics and myths.

These stories have been shaped by countless voices and they’ve stood the test of time. They’re concentrations and repositories of human experience. They speak in the enigmatic picture-language of dreams. I’ve loved them since I was a boy.

It’s now more than forty years since I started telling stories for a living. Over that period I’ve told many, many tales. New stories are always being taken on. Old ones lie fallow.

But, among them, there are some that won’t rest. Once learned, they’ve never gone quiet. They keep returning. They’ve always got something to say.

All storytellers who’ve served their time have a similar accumulation of restless tales, always demanding to be told.

These are the stories at the heart of a repertoire.

In this book I’ve netted fifty of mine.

Each of them is a favourite. They represent my storytelling core.

They’re alive. They’re eager to escape. They shouldn’t be held down on the page for too long. They want to take wing on the tongue and the breath.

Buy this book and set them free.

 

Support this project

Quick select rewards

  • Hugh Lupton avatar

    Hugh Lupton

    Hugh Lupton’s interest in traditional music, in street theatre, in live poetry, and in myth, resulted in him becoming a professional storyteller in 1981. 


    For twelve years he toured Britain with the ‘Company of Storytellers’ (with Ben Haggarty and Sally Pomme Clayton). Their work was instrumental in stimulating a nation-wide revival of interest in storytelling. Since the mid-nineties he has worked as a solo performer and collaborator. He has performed throughout Britain, in Europe, North and South America and in Africa.


    In 2006 he and Daniel Morden were awarded the Classical Association Prize for ‘the most significant contribution to the public understanding of the classics’. His work with musician Chris Wood has resulted in commissions from BBC Radio 3 and the ‘Song of the Year’ at the BBC folk awards.


    Hugh tells stories from many cultures, but his particular passion is for the hidden layers of the British landscape and the stories and ballads that give voice to them. Several collections of his folk tales for children and two acclaimed novels have been published ‘The Ballad of John Clare’ and ‘The Assembly of the Severed Head’. 


    www.hughlupton.co.uk

  • Old King Caiman

    Old King Caiman was coming to the end of his days. Nobody loved him. He had been a cruel king. Now he was old and alone, his teeth were yellow, his eyes were dim and his scales were tarnished.

    In the back of his mind one question troubled him: Who would follow him to the throne? Who would rule over the country when he was gone?

    Years ago he had eaten all his children. Just to make sure that they didn’t cause him any trouble, he’d eaten every one of them (he was a caiman after all). Now he wished he hadn’t.

    “Just one son,” he thought to himself, “If only there was just one handsome son or a beautiful daughter to take my place.”

    One day, as he was sitting on his throne with these thoughts turning slowly in his mind, a Young Caiman burst into the room. He was magnificent, his teeth white and sharp as knives, his eyes bright, every scale shining like a jewel. He bowed.

    “Father!” He said.

    “Father?”

    “Father! I am your secret son. My mother hid me from you. I grew up far away across the world. Now I have returned. I am young and strong and clever. Give me your golden crown. Your throne should be mine now.”

    Old King Caiman looked the youngster up and down. He scowled. He was filled with jealousy and admiration. He liked and hated what he saw.

    “I can see that you are young and strong and bold, just as I was once when I was in my prime - but are you clever?”

    The Young Caiman smiled:

    “Test me.”

    Read more...
  • 22nd April 2022 Thank you and...

    Dear Friends, thank you for your generous support for FIFTY TALES. Numbers are creeping up steadily. Just to let you know that on Sunday (24th April) I'll be performing 'On Common Ground' (John Clare & Enclosures) as part of an evening to celebrate 90 years since the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass. It's at Rich Mix Theatre, London E1 6LA. At 6.45pm. Come if you can. Here's a link with more details: https…

  • These people are helping to fund Fifty Tales, or The Heart of the Matter.

    User avatar

    Catherine Reyes

    User avatar

    Barbara Clarkson

    User avatar

    pamela thom-rowe

    User avatar

    Tim Frost

    User avatar

    Pascale Nicolet

    User avatar

    Harriet Lupton

    User avatar

    Henry Gunn

    User avatar

    David Harrison

    User avatar

    Sean Taylor

    User avatar

    Pippa King

    User avatar

    Polly Rodgers

    User avatar

    Alexander Mackenzie

    User avatar

    William Lupton

    User avatar

    Mari Joyce

    User avatar

    Mike O'Connor

    User avatar

    Martin Manasse

    User avatar

    Adelheid Kern

    User avatar

    eliot baron

    User avatar

    eliot baron

    User avatar

    Paul Jones

    User avatar

    Robin Grey

    User avatar

    Stephen Lupton

    View more