Reading List


For whatever reason, there's a huge amount of changeling-adjacent literature - I guess it's such an evocative theme that a lot of creators have played with. This collection contains fairylore, make-believe, lots of teenage-girls-as-metaphors-for-things.

The Bloody Chamber (1979) - Angela Carter

Book | It's been years since I read this, but Carter is the archetypal "fairytale, but make it feminist" author - and her writing was the inspiration for the Company of Wolves. This is a fantastic read, really well written; readers should be aware that the book is mature and sexual, and deals with sexual threat

Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997) - Michael Cohn


Film | The contemporary "reinvent fairy tales for teens but gritty" trend was preceded by films like this, A Company of Wolves and Labyrinth. Rediscovering fairy for a more mature audience, but not losing sight of its wonder. This film is promising but simply doesn't land - too emotionally and politically simple, a heroine that's hard to connect to, too grim and dour. Nevertheless, it is probably worth your time watching it. It's doing its best with a miniscule budget, and has effective imagery, and is pleasing in a gothic fashion. But it's not a patch on Snow White and the Huntsman, e.g.

✪ Labyrinth (1986) - Jim Henson


Film | Yes, the one with David Bowie. Jennifer Connelly is fantastic, and the film's magical wisdom is unironically excellent. Good on the Good Folk, Re-Enchantment, or the Changeling narrative.

✪ The Company of Wolves (1984) - Neil Jordan


Film | Adaptation of a story in Angela Carter's *The Bloody Chamber* (also on this list). Wonderful, strange, and very influential for me on Changeling things. Recommended.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1967) - Joan Lindsay


Book | Didn't hit the spot for me in the same way as the film.

Lost Girls (2006) - Alan Moore


Book | 18+ only. A transformative-fiction graphic novel, bringing together the stories of Wendy, Dorothy and Alice as a pornographic meditation on fantasy and childhood. I've added it to the list to record that I've read it, but I have very polar feelings on it. On the one hand, its clearly in the Changeling wheelhouse - taking these girl-gets-lost-in-the-otherworlds stories in our culture as a jumping-off-point to explore all sorts, and i find some of its poetry about the importance and power of fantasy, and art, and celebrating the erotic very powerful and moving. It's also a good signpost to reading the Alice, Dorothy and Wendy stories in new ways. On the other, it is unambiguosly, consciously, erotica featuring (drawn) children, over and over again, and I can't help but think that if I ever wrote a paean to pornography it wouldn't naturally occur to me to feature a single child. This troubles me, and I have questions. With this in mind, I do not recommend it.

The Red Shoes (1948) - Powell/Pressburger


Film | One of my favourite films. Where you find love, dance, art and ecstasy, you'll find the Changeling. There are probably others, but I'm including it because it's great and I love it. You could also look at the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, or the Matthew Bourne ballet.

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) - Rupert Sanders


Film | Look alright I really love this one. It stands out from the crowd of "gritty fairytale for Tweenagers" because the cast is great, the special effects are creative, and it hits emotionally. I've seen it a handful of times, and it lands in a way that Snow White:Tale of Terror never does. The reimagining of Snow White is well done too, keeping her "traditional characteristics" - kindness, friendship with animals - but making them work in a way that's sincere. I'm a big Kristen Stewart fan. It's not essential viewing, but if you want a Snow White adaptation it's easily my fave

✪ Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) - Peter Weir


Film | A wonderful film; and I enjoyed it more than the book (I haven't seen the new series). Dreamy, and one of the classic "young women become strange in the landscape" texts. Very scary. Glorious, unsettling; Landweird, but also good for our Changeling and Solar-Stellar themes. Just, a really damn fine film. I probably wouldn't choose it as a top choice spiritually, but from a cinematic perspective it's one of the best in our collection.

Complete Works - Hans Christian Andersen


Book | Andersen wrote most of my favourite fairy stories, and I esp want to draw the reader's attention to the Snow Queen and Red Shoes. A mostly complete collection of his stories can be read here online.

The Flower Faries () - Cicely Mary Barker

Book |

Peter Pan (1904) - J.M. Barrie

Book | I've yet to explore this one, books or films, so an update will be forthcoming

Alice in Wonderland// Alice through the Looking Glass (1865/1871) - Lewis Carroll


Book | On the whole, it is adaptations of Alice I recommend over the original - unless you love the original very much. It is an archetypal example of a Changeling narrative - of a girl wandering into a psychedelic otherworld on a golden afternoon - and yet, this book doesn't really do it for me. However, the clustering of overlapping interpretations - pulling out themes like trauma, hallucination,unorthodoxy and the pastoral to a far greater extent - is very pleasing to us. Some still to explore include: