'The Queen and the bat had been talking a good deal that afternoon...' The Victorian fascination with fairyland vivified the literature of the period, and led to some of the most imaginative fairy tales ever written. They offer the shortest path to the age's dreams, desires, and wishes. Authors central to the nineteenth-century canon such as W. M. Thackeray, Oscar Wilde, Ford Madox Ford, and Rudyard Kipling wrote fairy tales, and authors primarily famous for their work in the genre include George MacDonald, Juliana Ewing, Mary De Morgan, and Andrew Lang. This anthology brings together fourteen of the best stories, by these and other outstanding practitioners, to show the vibrancy and variety of the form and its abilities to reflect our deepest concerns. In tales of whimsy and romance, witty satire and uncanny mystery, love, suffering, family, and the travails of identity are imaginatively explored. Michael Newton's Introduction and notes provide illuminating contextual and biographical information about the authors and the development of the literary fairy tale. A selection of original illustrations is also included.