Tales of Britain

By Jem Roberts

The finest, funniest stories of England, Scotland & Wales, refreshed for the 21st century. By Brother Bernard, as told to Jem Roberts.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Tristan 4 Isolde 4eva

A very LOVELY Folklore Thursday to you all, this Valentines!

The usual FT crew may be taking the day off, but we can at least give you a very crucial update – a week after a horrifying false alarm when Amazon messed up its setting on our eBook, so it looked like the book was cancelled... we can finally reveal that, despite some over-ambitious early release date teasing beyond our control, and all sorts of publisher woes which slowed down the crossing of T's and dotting of I's...

TALES OF BRITAIN IS FINALLY WITH THE PRINTERS RIGHT NOW!

Yes, we have been told to expect physical copies in our hands by the 20-somethingth of February, and will consider March the release date – we'll be chatting with the wonderful Cerys Matthews on 6music 10.30am on Sunday 3rd March! And to her, and indeed all our other supporters, what can we send this Valentines Thursday but ALL OUR LOVE...

We still need to do everything we can to arrange interviews and publicity in print and on air, so please get in touch if you want to talk British folklore in any arena. And we're booking up our festival appearances and storytelling shows all over the UK right now too, so do email bernard@talesofbritain.com or jem@jemroberts.com if you would like a storytelling experience in your neck of the woods, tailored to your region!

We'll take a closer look at how the book has evolved next week, but for this special lovey-dovery Folklore Thursday, we bring you Brother Bernard wandering around the Dark Age walled garden (okay, medieval, but how about some willing suspension of disbelief?) at Tintagel Castle in Kernow, where Tristan and Isolde were said to have had their midnight trysts away from the jealous eyes of King Mark.

Not that the two future Wagner stars are the only lovers in Tales of Britain, not by a sizeable chalk. As you can see from this sneaky peek at our TALE KEY, we have both sexy elements and heartbreak in numerous stories. The Tale Key is an eccentric addition, we know, but as we wanted the book to be suitable to share with everyone, we thought it might be neat to include indicators of whether certain tales are suitable for wee ones, and so on, as part of the tourist guides. Each story is intended to have a full info box, halfway between a holiday brochure and a road atlas, and although our budget means we haven't been able to fully put these boxes together, the icons remain as a handy story selection aid. We'll explore this more in coming weeks!

As for the book's lovey-dovey quota, there's Janet and Tam Lin debating whether to keep their lovechild, Rhiannon and Pwyll trying their best to get married against the odds, the saucy mermaid who lures a Welsh Prince to her bed, while the dam cracks open and floods Cantre'r Gwaelod, plus the other Mermaid of Zennor, running away under the waves with Matthew Trewella, and there's the courtship of Dick Whittington and Maria Fitzherbert – not to mention Robin and Marian, and the marital woes of Arthur and Guinevere... love is certainly all around in our 77 tales. And heartbreak.

Tristan & Isolde is of course one of the world's greatest love couplings however, and with a definite place to go and visit as part of any kind of romantic folky outing. Tintangel's love garden is not so romantic on your own, of course, but it's as gooey as we get, so all we'll say for now is HAPPY VALENTINES – your present is on its way...!

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