Telling tales carries with it a number of possible meanings and implications. It can mean simply the telling of a story, as we do inevitably in our everyday encounters with other people, or even in the stories we tell ourselves. Some of this story telling may be more formal and formalised than others - reading a book to someone, chatting in the pub, giving evidence in court, or attending a guidance or counselling session. Here telling tales mayor may not involve telling fictions, but will none the less involve narrating stories to others. A second notion of telling tales is in its more derogatory sense of talking about other people in a negative or unfounded sense. Children are told 'not to tell tales', even when the adults asserting this are often not averse to a 'good' gossip. There is a third sense to the notion which is also important. This emphasises the tellingness of tales, that is that some are more telling, more powerful, than others. Indeed, in the telling of certain tales there are implicit and explicit strategies to make them more or less telling, more or less powerful. It is in these multiple senses that we have adopted telling tales as the title of this book.