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Academics reveal history behind monster myths and legends for Netflix series

Academics reveal history behind monster myths and legends for Netflix series

THE history of legendary tales from European mythology has been revealed by two University of Chichester lectures as part of a new Netflix series released this month.

Myths and Monsters, available from Saturday 23 December, unearths the unexpected stories of the world’s most popular myths. Dr Miles Leeson and Dr Paul Quinn, of the Department of English, Creative Writing, History and Politics, appear in the six-part series.

The academics were approached by Netflix producers following their research at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy which is based at the University. It provides a forum for writers and scholars to study mythology and other traditional stories.

Dr Leeson, a Senior Lecturer in English literature, said: “It was great to work with the team from 3DD productions to share the work that is being undertaken at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy based at Chichester. Paul and I spent two hours each being interviewed by them crew discussing myths and folklore tropes from across Europe, and we're looking forward to seeing what the finished series looks like later in the month.”

Myths and Monsters, presented by English actor Nicholas Day, investigates the mythic landscape of Europe and the origins of it most famous legends to reveal why they have endured so long. Episode one, Heroes and Villains, explores the extraordinary Slavic story of Ivan and Koschei the Deathless, the origins of King Arthur and wizard Merlin, and the journey of Odysseus as he resists the Sirens’ songs.

Dr Paul Quinn, also a Senior Lecturer at the University, is the guest editor of Gramarye, the Journal for the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tale and Fantasy. He said: “It was a great pleasure to be able to discuss Mallory's version of the Arthurian myth as part of the Myths and Monsters series.

“Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur is a long standing interest of mine and it was a tremendous opportunity to be able to consider Mallory's sequence as part of a wider discussion of 'the hero' in folklore and mythology. The construction of the hero across time is a key question for our popular third-year modules on Fantasy Literature and Fairy Tales and is an important concern for the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tale, and Fantasy.”

The Myths and Monsters documentary with Dr Leeson and Dr Quinn is available on Netflix from Saturday 23 December. Alternatively to find out more about the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy go to www.sussexfolktalecentre.org.