Wild Swans by Xanthe Gresham Knight ill by Charlotte Gastaut
Some tales get lost over time. They fall through the cracks of pavements or are washed out into the ocean. But some child, playing on the street or digging in the sand, will catch sight of a story gleaming like a chip of old china or lost silver. They will pick it up, hold it to the light and never rest until they have experienced every moment. Perhaps you are one such child.
And thus it begins. In the hands of a skilled storyteller, Wild Swans weaves its magic with lustrous words and images.
The King of the North was blessed with eleven sons and one daughter Eliza. A plague swept through the land, taking the lives of many, including his wife. The king remarries a woman who possess powerful skills of healing and magic. She sends the brothers away to teach them about the world, as well as protect them from the plague. Casting a spell upon the boys, they become swans by day, human at night. Eliza grows up, far from the plague-riddled kingdom, learning to spin and knit. When she receives word that her father and stepmother have succumbed to the plague, she goes in search of her brothers. Eliza learns that she can reverse the stepmother’s enchantment by gathering nettles, spinning the prickly fibers into yarn and knitting a tunic for each boy. Time runs out. She completes all but the sleeve of the eleventh tunic. Tossing a tunic upon each swan, the boys permanently become human. One brother retains a white wing, due to the missing sleeve. The princes return to rule the eleven kingdoms of the north. Eliza is crowned Queen and rules over all.
Meet Xanthe Gresham Knight
British Theatre Review
Knight is a British storyteller and performance artist. Among her many honors she has performed at the Smithsonian, Ulster Museum, and Harvard Art Gallery. She was Storyteller in Residence for the Chelsea Physic Garden and Stoke Staffordshire Libraries, Storyteller Educator for Tate Galleries, and Lecturer in Drama and Storytelling at the University of East London. She brings her considerable talents to the printed page in this exquisite fairy tale retelling.
Introducing Charlotte Gastaut
Charlotte Gastaut is a talented French artist. Her work includes an extensive variety of projects. In addition to book illustration she has been commissioned by companies such as Godiva to create product packaging.
Her work has also been embraced by the fashion world. Some of her illustrations were reproduced on dresses of Maison Fendi, for a fashion show at Rome's Trevi Fountain.
The collection was designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Gorgeous design. Sumptuous art.