An Introduction to Fantasy


Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.97 inches | 1.21 pounds

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About the Author

Matthew Sangster is Professor of Romantic Studies, Fantasy and Cultural History at the University of Glasgow, where he co-directs the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic. His other books include Living as an Author in the Romantic Period (2021), Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900 (co-edited with Jon Mee, 2022) and Remediating the 1820s (co-edited with Jon Mee, 2023).


'Matthew Sangster offers us an entirely new way to look at fantasy and its cultural significance. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' to Dungeons and Dragons, and gracefully integrating ideas from a number of disciplines, Sangster offers a convincing account of one of the major cultural phenomena of the past century and a half.' Brian Attebery, Emeritus Professor of English, Idaho State University
'On all accounts, this is a wonderful book. The range of texts considered is amazing. Sangster examines written narratives, films, TV series, fan fiction, graphic narratives, comics, role-playing games, and other web manifestations of fantasy, and invokes Asian, African, and Near Eastern examples alongside Western ones. The teeming variety, and Sangster's own uniquely positive approach, support claims to the importance of fantasy in human experience and enforce the sense that collaboration and shared experience is an integral element of human interaction, and one that fantasy encourages.' Kathryn Hume, Emerita Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, The Pennsylvania State University
'Matthew Sangster's modestly titled An Introduction to Fantasy is much more than an introduction to a single genre. It is a powerful meditation on a communal mode of artistic creativity that has shaped culture for thousands of years and now finds expression in textual, visual and interactive forms all across the world.' Anna Vaninskaya, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Edinburgh
'Although it's one of the oldest modes of storytelling, fantasy has exploded in popularity over the last half-century, and critical and historical commentary about it has expanded almost as dramatically. In An Introduction to Fantasy: Imagination, Iteration and Community, Matthew Sangster demonstrates a keen understanding both of the source material--drawing not only on literature but on films, TV, gaming, and art--and of the critical discourse around it. His eminently readable study is both historically grounded as far back as Plato, and as contemporary as Kelly Link and Nghi Vo.' Gary K. Wolfe, Emeritus Professor of Humanities, Roosevelt University
'An insightful and engaging exploration into the broad landscape of fantasy. Brilliantly written and comprehensive, Sangster delves deftly into the signal importance of the genre throughout human history and in our fraught contemporary moment. Thought-provoking and timely, this volume belongs on every fantasist's bookshelf.' Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Associate Professor, Joint Program in English and Education, University of Michigan, author of The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games