George Stephens (philologist)

George Stephens was an English archeologist and philologist, who worked in Scandinavia on interpreting runic inscriptions. Born at Liverpool, Stephens studied at University College London. In 1834, he married Mary Bennett and moved to Sweden, studying Scandinavian medieval literature and folklore, his collection of fairy tales together with Gunnar Olof Hyltén-Cavallius was reprinted. Stephens moved to Denmark, became a lecturer in English at Copenhagen University in 1851, a professor in 1855, he published in The Gentleman's Magazine. In 1860, he published the first edition of the Waldere fragments. In 1877, Uppsala University made him doctor honoris causa, his brother was the Methodist minister Joseph Rayner Stephens. He died at Copenhagen in 1895, he was the grandfather of Florence Stephens. Conversational outlines of English grammar: intended as an easy introduction to that language... Förteckning öfver de förnämsta brittiska och fransyska handskrifterna uti Kongl. Bibliotheket i Stockholm Revenge, or Woman's Love: a melodrama in five acts The rescue of Robert Burns, February 1759 Two Leaves of King Waldere's Lay The Old-Northern runic monuments of Scandinavia and England, 4 volumes Old Norse fairy tales The runes: whence came they

The Fairy Godmother (novel)

The Fairy Godmother is a novel by Mercedes Lackey, published in 2004 and the first book of the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. It is about a young woman named Elena, the daughter of a wealthy gentleman. After the death of her mother, her father married a devious social climber with two daughters of her own. Not long after the marriage, Elena's father dies and her stepmother relegates her into the position of a house servant, she seems to be the perfect Cinderella candidate, except the prince of the land is many years younger than she - he is eleven. She is 21, when most fairy-tale endings for girls happen at 16 or 18. One day, Elena's stepmother and stepsisters plan a temporary excursion out of town, for the purpose of ensnaring a new rich husband so they can pay the numerous debts they owe. Left alone in the house, Elena goes to the hiring fair in hopes of finding work as a servant. At the end of the day, a fairy godmother offers to take Elena on as her apprentice. Elena accepts and moves to the godmother's cottage, where she meets the four brownies that help with household duties.

The latter half of the book deals with Elena's time as a full-fledged godmother and her problems with turning an arrogant prince named Alexander into a decent person. The Tradition is an imperative magical force that causes events to play out as they do in legends and fairytales; each repetition of the events of a certain story makes the story happen more easily. People who understand the Tradition can use the knowledge to control it, can to arrange events to divert the Tradition into another, more agreeable story should the Tradition be trying to make a tragedy; this is rather similar to the Discworld concept of narrative causality. The Tradition is too powerful to be controlled by any single person. However, in cases where events do not suggest any narrative, those with the ability to use magic can call on the Tradition to link existing factors into a mini-story. For example, when Godmother Elena indicates a need to return to her home the Tradition summons a giant, who in return asks for a ram which Elena just happens to have in her possession