From the Forest by Sara Maitland
A Search for the Hidden Roots of our Fairytales

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 7 Critic Reviews



Fairy tales are one of our earliest cultural forms, and forests one of our most ancient landscapes. Both evoke similar sensations: At times they are beautiful and magical, at others spooky and sometimes horrifying. Maitland argues that the terrain of these fairy tales are intimately connected to the mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and perils.

With each chapter focusing on a different story and a different forest visit, Maitland offers a complex history of forests and how they shape the themes of fairy tales we know best. She offers a unique analysis of famous stories including Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretal, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumplestiltskin, and Sleeping Beauty. Maitland uses fairy tales to explore how nature itself informs our imagination, and she guides the reader on a series of walks through northern Europe’s best forests to explore both the ecological history of forests and the roots of fairy tales. In addition to the twelve modern re-tellings of these traditional fairy tales, she includes beautiful landscape photographs taken by her son as he joined her on these long walks.

Beautifully written and impeccably researched, Maitland has infused new life into tales we’ve always thought we’ve known.

About Sara Maitland

See more books from this Author
Sara Maitland grew up in London and South West Scotland. Maitland is the author of several books including the Counterpoint Press title, Book of Silence and Daughter of Jerusalem, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award in 1978. She studied English at Oxford University. She currently lives in Newton Stewart, UK.
Published November 1, 2012 by Counterpoint. 368 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for From the Forest

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

“So if we want healthy children in healthy forests we need to get the children out into the forests, and to do that, we need to see the forests as friendly, generous places, but also as tough and determined.” Maitland is at her best when she is most personal;

Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of From the Forest: A Search for...

The Independent

Granta £20 How fairy tales grew in the woods Given the recent furore over the deadly fungus that threatens to destroy our beloved ash trees and the Government's decision to subsidise those companies burning wood instead of coal in power stations, Sara Maitland's homage to Britain's woodland i...

Nov 18 2012 | Read Full Review of From the Forest: A Search for...

The Telegraph

the forests of England and Scotland – from Kielder Forest to the Forest of .

Oct 31 2012 | Read Full Review of From the Forest: A Search for...


But Maitland describes her own experiences in the forests with such clarity and detail that readers might almost feel like they are in the woods—and most likely From the Forest will make many want to experience the woods for themselves.

Nov 13 2012 | Read Full Review of From the Forest: A Search for...

We Love This Book

Claiming shared ancestral heritage makes the tales of the Brothers Grimm as English as they are German, Sara Maitland’s Gossip from the Forest is a fascinating meditation on what shared impulses fairy tales tap into and just why so many of the stories are set in or involve a forest.

Jan 11 2012 | Read Full Review of From the Forest: A Search for...

His 1986 musical which featured several stories from the works of the Brothers Grimm was called Into The Woods: likewise, Sara Maitland’s double-study links together the Grimms and the forests (its subtitle is “the tangled roots of our forests and fairytales”).

Oct 27 2012 | Read Full Review of From the Forest: A Search for...


Artswrap - Gossip from the Forest: A Search for the Hidden Roots of Our Fairytales - Sara Maitland Search this site: Log In / Register ...

| Read Full Review of From the Forest: A Search for...

Reader Rating for From the Forest

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review