Chapter 4 | The History of Fairy Tales
The gods of ancient mythology were changed into the demi-gods and heroes of ancient poetry, and these demi-gods again became, at a later age, the principal characters of our nursery tales.
Stories originally told about the characters of savage tales, were finally attracted into the legends of the gods of ancient mythology, or were attributed to demi-gods and heroes.
I. THE ORIGIN OF FAIRY TALES
NOW that we have indicated the worth of fairy tales, have observed those principles which should guide the teacher in choosing and in interpreting a tale, and have stated those rules which should govern the story-teller in the telling of the tale, we may well ask a few further questions concerning the nature of these fairy tales. What is a fairy tale and whence did it come, and how are we to find its beginning? Having found it, how are we to follow it down through the ages? How shall it be classed, what are the available types which seek to include it and show its nature? And lastly, what are the books which are to be the main practical sources of fairy tales for the teacher of little children? The remaining pages attempt to give some help to the teacher who wishes to increase her resources with an intelligent knowledge of the material she is handling.
Many times the question, "What is a fairy tale?" has been asked. One has said: "The fairy tale is a poetic presentation of a spiritual truth." George MacDonald has answered: "Undine is a fairy tale." Mr. G.K. Chesterton has said: "A fairy tale is a tale told in a morbid age to the only remaining sane person, a child. A legend is a fairy tale told to men when men were sane." Some, scorning to reply, have treated the question as one similar to, "What poem do you consider best in the English language?" As there are many tales included here which do not contain a fairy, fairy tales here are taken to include tales which contain something fairy or extraordinary, the magic or the marvelous-fairies, elves, or trolls, speaking animals, trees, or a talkative Tin Soldier. The Myth proper and the Fable are both excluded here, while the pourquois tale, a myth development, and the Beast tale, a short-story fable development, are both included.
The origin of the word "fairy," as given by Thomas Keightley in his Fairy Mythology, and later in the Appendix of his Tales and Popular Fictions, is the Latin fatum, "to enchant." The word was derived directly from the French form of the root. The various forms of the root were:-
Latin fatum, "to enchant."
French fee, feerie, "illusion."
In old French romance, fee was a "woman skilled in magic." "All those women were called Fays who had to do with enchantment and charms and knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs, by which they were kept in youth and in great beauty and in great riches." This was true also of the Italian fata.
The word "fairy" was used in four senses. Fairy represented:-
(1) Illusion, or enchantment.
(2) Abode of the Faes, the country of the Fays.
(3) Inhabitants collectively, the people of Fairyland.
(4) The individual in Fairyland, the fairy Knight, or Elf.
The word was used in the fourth sense before the time of Chaucer. After the appearance of Spenser's Faerie Queene distinctions became confused, and the name of the real fairies was transferred to "the little beings who made the green, sour ringlets whereof the ewe not bites." The change adopted by the poets gained currency among the people. Fairies were identified with nymphs and elves. Shakespeare was the principal means of effecting this revolution, and in his Midsummer Night's Dream he has incorporated most of the fairy lore known in England at his time. But the tales are older than their name.
The origin of fairy tales is a question which has kept many very able scholars busy and which has not yet been settled to the satisfaction of many. What has been discovered resolves itself mainly into four different origins of fairy tales:-
I. Fairy tales are detritus of myth, surviving echoes of gods and heroes. Against this theory it may be said that, when popular tales have incidents similar to Greek heroic myths, the tales are not detritus of myth, but both have a more ancient tale as their original source. There was:-
(1) A popular tale which reflected the condition of a rude
people, a tale full of the monstrous and the miraculous.
(2) The same tale, a series of incidents and plot, with the
monstrous element modified, which survived in the oral
traditions of illiterate peasantry.
(3) The same plot and incidents, as they existed in heroic
epics of cultivated people. A local and historical character
was given by the introduction of known places and native
heroes. Tone and manners were refined by literary
workmanship, in the Rig Veda, the Persian King-book, the
Homeric Epics, etc.
The Grimms noted that the evolution of the tale was from a strongly marked, even ugly, but highly expressive form of its earlier stages, to that which possessed external beauty of mold. The origin is in the fancy of a primitive people, the survival is through Maerchen of peasantry, and the transfiguration into epics is by literary artists. Therefore, one and the same tale may be the source of Perrault's Sleeping Beauty, also of a Greek myth, and also of an old tale of illiterate peasantry. This was the opinion held by Lang, who said, "For the roots of stories, we must look, not in the clouds but upon the earth, not in the various aspects of nature but in the daily occurrences and surroundings, in the current opinions and ideas of savage life."
In the savage Maerchen of to-day, the ideas and incidents are the inevitable result of the mental habits and beliefs of savages. We gain an idea of the savage mind through Leviticus, in the Bible, through Herodotus, Greek and Roman geographers, Aristotle, Plutarch, Pliny, etc., through voyagers, missionaries, and travelers, and through present savage peoples. Savage existence is based on two great institutions:-
(a) The division of society into clans.-Marriage laws depend on the conception that these clans descend from certain plants, animals, or inorganic objects. There was the belief in human descent from animals and kinship and personal intercourse with them.
(b) Belief in magic and medicine-men, which resulted in powers of metamorphosis, the effect of incantation, and communion with the dead.-To the savage all nature was animated, all things were persons. The leading ideas of savage peoples have already been referred to in the list of motifs which appear in the different fairy tales, as given by Lang, mentioned under the "Preparation of the Teacher," in The Telling of the Tale.
II. Fairy tales are myths of Sun, Dawn, Thunder, Rain, etc.
This is sometimes called the Sun-Myth Theory or the Aryan Theory, and it is the one advocated by Max Mueller and by Grimm.
The fairy tales were primitive man's experience with nature in days when he could not distinguish between nature and his own personality, when there was no supernatural because everything was endowed with a personal life. They were the poetic fancies of light and dark, cloud and rain, day and night; and underneath them were the same fanciful meanings. These became changed by time, circumstances in different countries, and the fancy of the tellers, so that they became sunny and many-colored in the South, sterner and wilder in the North, and more home-like in the Middle and West. To the Bushmen the wind was a bird, and to the Egyptian fire was a living beast. Even The Song of Six-Pence has been explained as a nature-myth, the pie being the earth and sky, the birds the twenty-four hours, the king the sun, the queen the moon, and the opening of the pie, day-break.
Every word or phrase became a new story as soon as the first meaning of the original name was lost. Andrew Lang tells how Kephalos the sun loved Prokris the dew, and slew her by his arrows. Then when the first meaning of the names for sun, dew, and rays was lost, Kephalos, a shepherd, loved Prokris, a nymph, and we have a second tale which, by a folk-etymology, became the Story of Apollo, the Wolf. Tales were told of the sun under his frog name; later people forgot that frog meant "sun," and the result was the popular tale, A Frog, He Would A-Wooing Go.
In regard to this theory, "It is well to remember," says Tylor in his Primitive Culture, "that rash inferences which, on the strength of mere resemblances, derive episodes of myth from episodes of nature, must be regarded with utter distrust; for the student who has no more stringent criterion than this for his myths of sun and sky and dawn will find them wherever it pleases him to seek them." There is a danger of being carried away by false analogies. But all scholars agree that some tales are evidently myths of sun and dawn. If we examine the natural history of savages, we do find summer feasts, winter feasts, rituals of sorrow for the going of summer and of rejoicing for its return, anxious interest in the sun, interest in the motion of the heavenly bodies, the custom of naming men and women from the phenomena of nature, and interest in making love, making war, making fun, and making dinner.
III. Fairy tales all arose in India, they are part of the common Aryan heritage and are to be traced by the remains of their language.
They were first written in the Vedas, the sacred Sanskrit books of Buddhism. This theory is somewhat allied to the Sun-Myth Theory. This theory was followed by Max Mueller and by Sir George Cox.
The theory of a common source in India will not answer entirely for the origin of tales because many similar tales have existed in non-Aryan countries. Old tales were current in Egypt, 2000 B.C., and were brought from there by Crusaders, Mongol missionaries, the Hebrews, and Gypsies.
The idea of connecting a number of disconnected stories, as we find in Arabian Nights, The Canterbury Tales, and the Decameron, is traced to the idea of making Buddha the central figure in the folk-literature of India. And Jacobs says that at least one-third of all the stories common to the children of Europe are derived from India, and by far the majority of the drolls. He also says that generally, so far as incidents are marvelous and of true fairy-like character, India is the probable source, because of the vitality of animism and transformation in India in all time. Moreover, as a people, the Hindus had spread among their numbers enough literary training and mental grip to invent plots.
And again, there is an accepted connection in myth and language between all Aryan languages and Sanskrit. According to Sir George Dasent, "The whole human race has sprung from one stock planted in the East, which has stretched its boughs and branches laden with the fruit of language and bright with the bloom of song and story, by successive offshoots to the utmost parts of the earth." Dasent tells how the Aryans who went west, who went out to do, were distinguished from the nations of the world by their common sense, by their power of adapting themselves to circumstances, by making the best of their position, by being ready to receive impressions, and by being able to develop impressions. They became the Greeks, the Latins, the Teutons, the Celts, and the Slavonians. The Aryans who stayed at home, remained to reflect, and were distinguished by their power of thought. They became a nation of philosophers and gave to the world the Sanskrit language as the basis of comparative philology. Dasent shows how legends, such as the Story of William Tell and Dog Gellert, which have appeared in many Aryan peoples were common in germ to the Aryan tribes before migration. Joseph Jacobs has more recently settled the travels of Gellert, tracing its literary route from the Indian Vinaya Pitaka, through the Fables of Bidpai, Sindibad, Seven Sages of Rome, Gesta Romanorum, and the Welsh Fables of Cottwg, until the legend became localized in Wales.
IV. Fairy tales owe their origin to the identity of early fancy.
Just as an individual, after thinking along certain lines, is surprised to come upon the exact sequence of his thought in a book he had never seen, so primitive peoples in remote parts of the world, up against similar situations, would express experience in tales containing similar motifs. A limited set of experiences was presented to the inventive faculty, and the limited combinations possible would result in similar combinations. The Aryan Jackal, the Mediaeval Reynard, the Southern Brer Rabbit, and the Weasel of Africa, are near relations. Dasent said, "In all mythology and tradition there are natural resemblances, parallelisms, suggested to the senses of each race by natural objects and everyday events; and these might spring up spontaneously all over the earth as home-growths, neither derived by imitation from other tribes, nor from the tradition of a common stock."
It is probable that all four theories of the origin of fairy tales are correct and that fairy tales owe their origin not to any one cause but to all four.
II. THE TRANSMISSION OF FAIRY TALES
Oral transmission. The tale, having originated, may have been transmitted in many ways: by women compelled to marry into alien tribes; by slaves from Africa to America; by soldiers returning from the Crusades; by pilgrims returning from the Holy Land or from Mecca; by knights gathering at tournaments; by sailors and travelers; and by commercial exchange between southern Europe and the East-Venice trading with Egypt and Spain with Syria. Ancient tales of Persia spread along the Mediterranean shores. In this way the Moors of Spain learned many a tale which they transmitted to the French. Jack the Giant-Killer and Thomas Thumb, according to Sir Walter Scott, landed in England from the very same keels and warships which conveyed Hengist and Horsa and Ebba the Saxon. A recent report of the Bureau of Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution of the United States expressed the opinion that the Uncle Remus Tales have an Indian origin. Slaves had associated with Indian tribes such as the Cherokees, and had heard the story of the Rabbit who was so clever that no one could fool him. Gradually the Southern negroes had adopted the Indian tales and changed them. Joseph Jacobs claims to have found the original of the "Tar Baby" in the Jataka Tales. A tale, once having originated, could travel as easily as the wind. Certainly a good type when once hit upon was diffused widely. Sir Walter Scott has said: "A work of great interest might be compiled from the origin of popular fiction and the transmission of similar tales from age to age and from country to country. The mythology of one period would then appear to pass into the romance of the next century, and that into the nursery tales of subsequent ages. Such an investigation would show that these fictions, however wild and childish, possess such charms for the populace as to enable them to penetrate into countries unconnected by manners and language, and having no apparent intercourse to afford the means of transmission."
Thomas Keightley, in Tales and Popular Fictions, has given interesting examples of the transmission of tales. Selecting Jack the Giant-Killer, he has shown that it is the same tale as Grimm's The Brave Tailor, and Thor's Journey to Utgard in the Scandinavian Edda. Similar motifs occur also in a Persian tale, Ameen of Isfahan and the Ghool, and in the Goat and the Lion, a tale from the Panchatantra. Selecting the Story of Dick Whittington he has shown that in England it was current in the reign of Elizabeth; that two similar tales, Danish legends, were told by Thiele; that a similar Italian tale existed at the time of Amerigo Vespucci, which was a legend told by Arlotto in 1396-1483; that another similar Italian tale was connected with the origin of Venice, in 1175; and that a similar tale existed in Persia in 1300, before 1360, when Whittington of England was born. He also pointed out that the Odyssey must have traveled east as well as west, from Greece, for Sindbad's adventure with the Black Giant is similar to that of Ulysses with the Cyclops.
Another interesting set of parallels shown by him is connected with the Pentamerone tale, Peruonto. This is the Straparola Peter the Fool, the Russian Emelyan the Fool, the Esthonian tale by Laboulaye, The Fairy Craw-Fish, and the Grimm The Fisherman and his Wife. The theme of a peasant being rewarded by the fish he had thrown back into the water takes on a delightful varied form in the tale of different countries. The magic words of Emelyan, "Up and away! At the pike's command, and at my request, go home, sledge!" in each variant take an interesting new form.
Literary transmission. The travels of a tale through oral tradition are to be attempted with great difficulty and by only the most careful scholarship. One may follow the transmission of tales through literary collections with somewhat greater ease and exactness. Popular tales have a literature of their own. The following list seeks to mention the most noteworthy collections:-
No date. Vedas. Sanskrit.
No date. Zend Avesta. Persian.
Fifth century, B.C. Jatakas. Probably the oldest
literature. It was written at Ceylon and has been translated
into 38 languages, in 112 editions. Recently the Cambridge
edition has been translated from the Pali, edited by E.B.
Cowell, published by Putnam, New York, 1895-1907.
4000 B.C. Tales of Ancient Egypt. These were the tales of
magicians, recorded on papyrus.
600 B.C. (about). Homeric Legends.
200 B.C. (about). Book of Esther.
Second century, A.D. The Golden Ass, Metamorphoses of Apuleius.
550 A.D. Panchatantra, the Five Books. This was a
Sanskrit collection of fables, the probable source of the
Fables of Bidpai.
Second century, A.D. The Hitopadesa, or Wholesome
Instruction. A selection from the Panchatantra, first
edited by Carey, in 1804; by Max Mueller, in 1844.
550 A.D. Panchatantra. Pehlevi version.
Tenth century, A.D. Panchatantra. Arabic version.
Eleventh century, A.D. Panchatantra. Greek version.
Twelfth century, A.D. Panchatantra. Persian version.
1200 A.D. Sanskrit Tales. These tales were collected by
Somadeva Bhatta, of Cashmere, and were published to amuse
the Queen of Cashmere. They have been translated by
Brockhaus, 1844. Somadeva's Ocean of the Streams of Story
has been translated by Mr. Tawney, of Calcutta, 1880.
Tales of the West came from the East in two sources:-
1262-78. (1) Directorium Humanae Vitae, of John of Capua.
This was translated from the Hebrew, from the Arabic of
the eighth century, from the Pehlevi of Persia of the
sixth century, from the Panchatantra, from the Sanskrit
original. This is the same as the famous Persian version,
The Book of Calila and Dimna , attributed to Bidpai, of
India. There was a late Persian version, in 1494, and one in
Paris in 1644, which was the source of La Fontaine.
Thirteenth century. (2) The Story of the Seven Sages of
Rome, or The Book of Sindibad. This appeared in Europe as
the Latin History of the Seven Sages of Rome, by Dame
Jehans, a monk in the Abbey of Haute Selve. There is a
Hebrew, an Arabic, and a Persian version. It is believed the
Persian version came from Sanskrit but the Sanskrit original
has not yet been found.
Tenth century. Reynard the Fox. This was first found as a
Latin product of the monks, in a cloister by the banks of
the Mosel and Mass. Reynard the Fox shares with AEsop's
Fables the distinction of being folk-lore raised into
literature. It is a series of short stories of adventure
forming a romance. These versions are known:-
1180. German-Reinhart, an epic of twelve
adventures by Heinrich Glichesaere.
1230. French-Roman de Renard, with its
1250. Flemish-Reinaert, part of which was
composed by Willem, near Ghent.
1148. Ysengrimus, a Latin poem written at Ghent.
Thirteenth century. Of the Vox and of the Wolf,
an English poem.
Later date. Rainardo, Italian.
Later date. Greek mediaeval version.
Reynard the Fox was first printed in England
by Caxton in 1481, translated from a Dutch copy. A
copy of Caxton's book is in the British Museum.
Caxton's edition was adapted by "Felix Summerley";
and Felix Summerley's edition, with slight
changes, was used by Joseph Jacobs in his Cranford
A Dutch prose romance, Historie von Reynaert de
Vos was published in 1485. A German copy, written
in Lower Saxony was published in 1498. A
chap-book, somewhat condensed, but giving a very
good account of the romance, was published in
London in 1780, printed and sold in Aldermary
Churchyard, Bow Lane. This chap-book is very much
finer in language than many of the others in
Ashton's collection. Its structure is good,
arranged in nine chapters. It shows itself a real
classic and would be read with pleasure to-day.
Goethe's poem, Reineke Fuchs, was published in
1794. This version was more refined than previous
ones but it lost in simplicity. Monographs have
been written on Reynard by Grimm, Voigt, Martin,
Raginhard was a man's name, meaning "strong in
counsel," and was common in Germany which bordered
on France. This name naturally was given to the
beast who lived by his wits. Grimm considered
Reynard the result of a Teutonic Beast Epic of
primitive origin. Later research has exploded this
theory and has decided that all versions are
descended from an original French one existing
between 1150 and 1170. Modern editions have come
from the Flemish version. The literary artist who
compiled Reynard took a nucleus of fables and
added to it folk-tales which are known to have
existed in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and
which exist to-day as tradition among some folk.
The folk-tales included in Reynard are: Reynard
and Dame Wolf; The Iced Wolf's Tail; The
Fishes in the Car; The Bear in the Cleft; The
Wolf as Bell-Ringer; and The Dyed Fox. The
method of giving individual names to the animals
such as Reynard, Bruin, and Tibert, was current
among the Folk before a literary form was given to
Reynard. As this was the custom in the province
of Lorraine it is supposed that the origin of
these names was in Lorraine. Other names, such as
Chanticleer, the Cock, and Noble, the Lion, were
given because of a quality, and indicate a
tendency to allegory. These names increase in the
later development of the romance. In the beginning
when the beasts had only personal adventures,
these were told by the Folk to raise a laugh.
Later there was a meaning underneath the laugh and
the Beast Epic Comedy of the Folk grew into the
world Beast Satire of the literary artist.
Reynard exhibits the bare struggle for existence
which was generally characteristic of Feudal life.
Cunning opposes force and triumphs over it. The
adventurous hero appeals because of his faculty of
adjustment, his power to adapt himself to
circumstances and to master them. He also appeals
because of his small size when compared with the
other animals. In the Middle Ages Reynard
appealed because it was a satire upon the monks.
Of Reynard Carlyle has said, "It comes before us
with a character such as can belong only to very
few; that of being a true World's Book which
through centuries was everywhere at home, the
spirit of which diffused itself into all languages
and all minds."
* * * * *
About one tenth of European folk-lore is traced to
collections used in the Middle Ages: Fables of Bidpai,
Seven Wise Masters, Gesta Romanorum, and Barlaam and
Josophat. These tales became diffused through the Exempla
of the monks, used in their sermons, through the Novelle
of Italy, the Decameron of Boccaccio, the Tales of
Chaucer, Painter's Palace of Pleasure, and the
Elizabethan Drama of England. One half of La Fontaine's
Fables are of Indian sources.
1326. The Gesta Romanorum, written in Latin. This was a
compilation, by the monks, of stories with a moral appended
to each. It was the most popular story-book before the
invention of printing. In England it was printed by Wynkyn
de Worde, of which edition the only known copy is at St.
John's College, Cambridge. The earliest manuscript of the
collection is dated 1326. Between 1600 and 1703 fifteen
editions of the book prove its popularity. One English
version is by Sir Frederick Madden, who lived 1801-73. The
author of the Gesta Romanorum is unknown, but was likely a
German. The stories included are miscellaneous and vary in
different editions. Among its stories are Oriental tales,
tales of the deeds of Roman Emperors, an early form of Guy
of Warwick, the casket episode of The Merchant of Venice,
a story of the Jew's bond, a tale of the Emperor Theodosius,
being a version of King Lear, the story of the Hermit, and
a tale of Aglas, the daughter of the Roman Emperor Pompey,
being a version of Atalanta and her Race.
1000 A.D. (about). Shah-Nameh, or King-book of Persia,
by Ferdousee, born about 940 A.D. This book is the pride and
glory of Persian literature. It was written by the Persian
poet at the command of the king, who wished to have
preserved the old traditions and heroic glories of Persians
before the Arabian conquest. Ferdousee declared that he
invented none of his material, but took it from the
Bostan-Nameh or Old-Book.
The King-Book is very ancient, it is the Persian Homer. It
was the labor of thirty years. It consisted of 56,000
distichs or couplets, for every thousand of which the Sultan
had promised the poet one thousand pieces of gold. Instead
of the elephant-load of gold promised, the Sultan sent in
payment 60,000 small silver coins. This so enraged the poet
that he gave away one third to the man who brought them, one
third to a seller of refreshments, and one third to the
keeper of the bath where the messenger found him. After the
poet's death the insult was retrieved by proper payment.
This was refused by his one daughter, but accepted by the
other and used to erect a public dike the poet had always
desired to build to protect his native town from the river.
The fine character of the tales of the King-Book is shown
in the tale of Roostem and Soohrab, taken from this book,
which Keightley has translated in Tales and Popular
Fictions. Keightley considered it superior to any Greek or
Latin tale. Modern literature knows this tale through
Matthew Arnold's poem.
1548 (not later than). The Thousand and One Nights,
Arabian. 12 volumes. Galland's French translation appeared
in 1704. This was supplemented by Chavis and Cazotte, and by
Caussin de Percival. Monsieur Galland was Professor of
Arabic in the Royal College of Paris. He was a master of
French and a fairly good scholar of Arabic. He brought his
manuscript, dated 1548, to Paris from Constantinople. He
severely abbreviated the original, cutting out poetical
extracts and improving the somewhat slovenly style. In his
translation he gave to English the new words, genie, ogre,
and vizier. His work was very popular.
Boulak and Calcutta texts are better than the Galland. They
contain about two hundred and fifty stories. The Cairo
edition has been admirably translated by Edward W. Lane, in
3 volumes (1839-41) published in London. This is probably
the best edition. It also omits many poetical quotations. A
recent edition using Lane's translation is by Frances
Olcott, published by Holt in 1913. Editions which attempt to
be complete versions are by John Payne (13 volumes,
1882-84), and by Sir Richard Burton (16 volumes, 1885-88).
Lane and Burton give copious notes of value. The recent
edition by Wiggin and Smith used the editions of Scott and
The stories in Arabian Nights are Indian, Egyptian,
Arabian, and Persian. Scenes are laid principally in Bagdad
and Cairo. Lane considered that the one hundred and fifteen
stories, which are common to all manuscripts, are based on
the Pehlevi original. The idea of the frame of the story
came from India. This was the birth of the serial story.
There is authority for considering the final collection to
have been made in Egypt. Cairo is described most minutely
and the customs are of Egypt of the thirteenth century and
later. The stories must have been popular in Egypt as they
were mentioned by an historian, 1400-70. Lane considered
that the final Arabic collection bears to Persian tales the
same relation that the AEneid does to the Odyssey. Life
depicted is Arabic, and there is an absence of the great
Persian heroes. Internal evidence assists in dating the
work. Coffee is mentioned only three times. As its use
became popular in the East in the fourteenth century this
indicates the date of the work to be earlier than the very
common use of coffee. Cannon, which are mentioned, were
known in Egypt in 1383. Additions to the original were
probably made as late as the sixteenth century. The Arabian
Nights has been the model for many literary attempts to
produce the Oriental tale, of which the tales of George
Meredith are notable examples.
Thomas Keightley, in Tales and Popular Fictions,
considered Persia the original country of The Thousand and
One Nights, and The Voyages of Sinbad, originally a
separate work. He showed how some of these tales bear marks
of Persian extraction and how some had made their way to
Europe through oral transmission before the time of
Galland's translation. He selected the tale, "Cleomedes and
Claremond," and proved that it must have been learned by a
certain Princess Blanche, of Castile, and transmitted by her
to France about 1275. This romance must have traveled to
Spain from the East. It is the same as "The Enchanted Horse"
in The Thousand and One Nights, and through Keightley's
proof, is originally Persian. Keightley also selected the
Straparola tale, The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and
the Beautiful Green Bird, and proved it to be the same as
Grimm's Three Little Birds, as a Persian Arabian Night's
tale, and also as La Princesse Belle Etoile, of D'Aulnoy.
But as Galland's translation appeared only the year after
Madame D'Aulnoy's death, Madame D'Aulnoy must have obtained the tale elsewhere than from the first printed version of
No date. The Thousand and One Days. This is a Persian
collection containing the "History of Calaf."
1550. Straparola's Nights, by Straparola. This collection
of jests, riddles, and twenty-one stories was published in
Venice. The stories were taken from oral tradition, from the
lips of ten young women. Some were agreeable, some unfit, so
that the book was forbidden in Rome, in 1605, and an
abridged edition prepared. There was a complete Venetian
edition in 1573, a German translation in 1679, a French one
in 1611, and a good German one with valuable notes, by
Schmidt, in 1817. Straparola's Nights contained stories
similar to the German The Master Thief, The Little Peasant,
Hans and the Hedge-Hog, Iron Hans, The Four Brothers, The
Two Brothers, and Dr. Know-all.
1637. The Pentamerone, by Basile. Basile spent his early
youth in Candia or Crete, which was owned by Venice. He
traveled much in Italy, following his sister, who was a
noted singer, to Mantua. He probably died in 1637. There may
have been an earlier edition of The Pentamerone, which
sold out. It was republished in Naples in 1645, 1674, 1714,
1722, 1728, 1749, 1788, and in Rome in 1679. This was the
best collection of tales formed by a nation for a long time.
The traditions were complete, and the author had a special
talent for collecting them, and an intimate knowledge of
dialect. This collection of fifty stories may be looked upon
as the basis of many others. Basile wrote independently of
Straparola, though a few tales are common to both. He was
very careful not to alter the tale as he took it down from
the people. He told his stories with allusions to manners
and customs, to old stories and mythology. He abounds in
picturesque, proverbial expressions, with turns and many
similes, and displays a delightful exuberance of fancy. A
valuable translation, with notes, was written by Felix
Liebrecht, in 1842, and an English one by John Edward
Taylor, in 1848. Keightley, in Fairy Mythology, has
translated three of these tales and in Tales and Popular
Fictions, two tales. Keightley's were the first
translations of these tales into any language other than
Italian. Among the stories of Basile are the German
Cinderella, How Six got on in the World, Rapunzel, Snow
White, Dame Holle, Briar Rose, and Hansel and Grethel.
1697. The Tales of Mother Goose, by Charles Perrault. In
France the collecting of fairy tales began in the
seventeenth century. French, German, and Italian tales were
all derived independently by oral tradition. In 1696, in
Recueil, a magazine published by Moetjens, at The Hague,
appeared The Story of Sleeping Beauty, by Perrault. In
1697 appeared seven other tales by Perrault. Eight stories
were published in 12mo, under a title borrowed from a
fabliau, Contes de ma Mere l'Oye. In a later edition
three stories were added, The Ass's Skin, The Clever
Princess, and The Foolish Wishes. The tales of Perrault
1. The Fairies.
2. The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood.
4. Little Red Riding Hood.
7. Rique with the Tuft.
8. Little Thumb.
9. The Ass's Skin.
10. The Clever Princess.
11. The Foolish Wishes.
Immediately afterwards the tales appeared published at Paris
in a volume entitled, Histoires ou Contes du Temps Passe,
avec des Moralites-Contes de ma Mere l'Oye. The earliest
translation into English was in a book containing French and
English, Tales of Passed Times, by Mother Goose, with
Morals. Written in French by M. Charles Perrault and
Englished by R.S., Gent. An English translation by Mr.
Samber was advertised in the English Monthly Chronicle,
March, 1729. Andrew Lang, with an introduction, has edited
these tales from the original edition, published by the
Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1888. These tales made their way
slowly in England, but gradually eclipsed the native English
tales and legends which had been discouraged by Puritan
influence. In Perrault's time, when this influence was
beginning to decline, they superseded the English tales,
crowding out all but Jack the Giant-Killer, Tom
Hickatkrift, Jack and the Beanstalk, Tom Thumb, and Childe
1650-1705. Fairy Tales, by Madame D'Aulnoy. In France
there were many followers of Perrault. The most important of
these was Madame D'Aulnoy. She did not copy Perrault. She
was a brilliant, witty countess, and brought into her tales,
entitled Contes de Fees, the graces of the court. She
adhered less strictly to tradition than Perrault, and
handled her material freely, making additions,
amplifications, and moral reflections, to the original tale.
Her weaving together of incidents is artistic and her style
graceful and not unpleasing. It is marked by ornamentation,
sumptuousness, and French sentimentality. It shows a lack of
naivete resulting from the palace setting given to her
tales, making them adapted only to children of high rank.
Often her tale is founded on a beautiful tradition. The
Blue-Bird, one of the finest of her tales, was found in the
poems of Marie de France, in the thirteenth century. Three
of her tales were borrowed from Straparola. Among her tales
the most important are:-
Graciosa and Percinet. (Basile.)
The Blue-Bird. (Contains a motif similar to one
in The Singing, Soaring Lark.)
The White Cat. (Similar to Three Feathers and
The Miller's Boy and the Cat.)
The Hind in the Wood. (Similar to Rumpelstiltskin.)
The Good Little Mouse. (Basile.)
The Fair One with the Golden Locks. (Ferdinand
The Yellow Dwarf.
Princess Belle Etoile. (Straparola.)
The careful translation of Madame D'Aulnoy's tales by Mr.
Planche faithfully preserves the spirit of the original.
There were many imitators of Countess D'Aulnoy, in France,
in the eighteenth century. Their work was on a much lower
level and became published in the Cabinet des Fees, a
collection of stories including in its forty volumes the
work of many authors, of which the greater part is of little
value. Of those following D'Aulnoy three deserve mention:-
1711-1780. Moral Tales, by Madame de Beaumont.
These were collected while the author was in
England. Of these we use Prince Cherry. Madame
de Beaumont wrote a children's book in which is
found a tale similar to The Singing, Soaring
Lark, entitled The Maiden and the Beast. She
also wrote 69 volumes of romance.
1765. Tales, by Madame Villeneuve. Of these we
use Beauty and the Beast.
1692-1765. Tales, by Comte de Caylus. The author
was an antiquarian and scholar. Of his tales we
use Sylvain and Yocosa.
Very little attempt has been made in modern times to include
in our children's literature the best of foreign literature
for children, for there has been very little study of
foreign books for children. Certainly the field of
children's literature would be enriched to receive
translations of any books worthy of the name classic. A
partial list of French fairy tales is here given, indicating
to children's librarians how little has been done to open up
this field, and inviting their labor:-
Bibliotheque Rose, a collection. (What should be
Bibliotheque des Petits Enfants, a collection.
(What should be included?)
1799-1874. Fairy Tales from the French, by
Madame de Segur. These tales are published by
Winston. We also use her Story of a Donkey,
written in 1860 and published by Heath in 1901.
1866. Fairy Tales of all Nations, by Edouard
1902. Last Fairy Tales, also by Laboulaye.
Tales, by Zenaide Fleuriot. (What should be
1910. Chantecler, by Edmund Rostand. Translated
by Gertrude Hall, published by Duffield.
1911. The Honey Bee, by Anatole France;
translated by Mrs. Lane; published by Lane.
1911. The Blue-Bird, by Maurice Maeterlinck;
published by Dodd.
In Great Britain many old tales taken from tradition were included in the Welsh Mabinogion, Irish sagas, and Cornish Mabinogion. Legends of Brittany were made known by the poems of Marie de France, who lived in the thirteenth century. These were published in Paris, in 1820. In fact, most of the early publications of fairy tales were taken from the French.
Celtic tales have been collected in modern times in a greater number than those of any nation. This has been due largely to the work of J.F. Campbell. Celtic tales are unusual in that they have been collected while the custom of story-telling is yet flourishing among the Folk. They are therefore of great literary and imaginative interest. They are especially valuable as the oldest of the European tales. The Irish tale of Connla and the Fairy Maiden has been traced to a date earlier than the fifth century and therefore ranks as the oldest tale of modern Europe. The principal Celtic collections are:-
Iolo M. S., published by the Welsh M. S. Society.
Mabinogion, translated by Lady Guest. (Contains tales
that trace back to the twelfth century.)
Y Cymrodor, by Professor Rhys.
1825. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of
Ireland, by T. Crofton Croker.
1842. Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Chambers.
1860-62. Popular Tales of the West Highlands, by J.F.
Tales, collected and published with notes, by Mr. Alfred
1866. By Patrick Kennedy, the Irish Grimm. Legendary
Fictions of the Irish Celts; Fireside Stories of Ireland
(1870); and Bardic Stories of Ireland (1871).
In England the publication of fairy tales may be followed more readily because the language proves no hindrance and the literature gives assistance. In England the principal publications of fairy tales were:-
1604. Pasquil's Jests. Contained a tale similar to one of
1635. A Tract, A Descryption of the Kynge and Quene of
Fairies, their habit, fare, abode, pomp, and state.
Eighteenth century (early). Madame D'Aulnoy's Tales, a
1667-1745. Gulliver's Travels, by Dean Swift. (One modern
edition, with introduction by W.D. Howells, and more than
one hundred illustrations by Louis Rhead, is published by
Harpers. Another edition, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, is
published by Dutton.)
1700-1800. Chap-Books. Very many of these books,
especially the best ones, were published by William and
Cluer Dicey, in Aldermary Church Yard, Bow Lane, London.
Rival publishers, whose editions were rougher in engraving,
type, and paper, labored in Newcastle.
The chap-books were little paper books hawked by chap-men,
or traveling peddlers, who went from village to village with
"Almanacks, Bookes of Newes, or other trifling wares." These
little books were usually from sixteen to twenty-four pages
in bulk and in size from two and one half inches by three
and one half inches to five and one half inches by four and
one quarter inches. They sold for a penny or six-pence and
became the very popular literature of the middle and lower
classes of their time. After the nineteenth century they
became widely published, deteriorated, and gradually were
crowded out by the Penny Magazine and Chambers's Penny
Tracts and Miscellanies. For many years before the
Victorian period, folk-lore was left to the peasants and
kept out of reach of the children of the higher classes.
This was the reign of the moral tale, of Thomas Bewick's
Looking Glass of the Mind and Mrs. Sherwood's Henry and
His Bearer. Among the chap-books published by William and
Cluer Dicey, may be mentioned: The Pleasant and Delightful
History of Jack and the Giants (part second was printed and
sold by J. White); Guy, Earl of Warwick; Bevis of Hampton;
The History of Reynard the Fox, dated 1780; The History of
Fortunatus, condensed from an edition of 1682; The Fryer
and the Boy; A True Tale of Robin Hood (Robin Hood Garland
Blocks, from 1680, were used in the London Bridge Chap-Book
edition); The Famous History of Thomas Thumb; The History
of Sir Richard Whittington; and The Life and Death of St.
George. Tom Hickathrift was printed by and for M. Angus and
Son, at Newcastle-in-the-Side: Valentine and Orson was
printed at Lyons, France, in 1489; and in England by Wynkyn
de Worde. Among the chap-books many tales not fairy tales
were included. With the popularity of Goody Two Shoes and
the fifty little books issued by Newbery, the realistic tale
of modern times made a sturdy beginning. Of these realistic
chap-books one of the most popular was The History of
Little Tom Trip, probably by Goldsmith, engraved by the
famous Thomas Bewick, published by T. Saint, of Newcastle.
This was reprinted by Ed. Pearson in 1867.
Of Jack the Giant-Killer, in Skinner's Folk-Lore, David
Masson has said: "Our Jack the Giant-Killer is clearly the
last modern transmutation of the old British legend, told in
Geoffrey of Monmouth, of Corineues the Trojan, the companion
of the Trojan Brutus when he first settled in Britain; which
Corineues, being a very strong man, and particularly
good-humored, is satisfied with being King of Cornwall, and
killing out all the aboriginal giants there, leaving to
Brutus all the rest of the island, and only stipulating
that, whenever there is a peculiarly difficult giant in any
part of Brutus' dominions, he shall be sent for to finish
Tom Hickathrift, whose history is given in an old number
of Fraser's Magazine, is described by Thackeray as one of
the publisher Cundall's books, bound in blue and gold,
illustrated by Frederick Taylor in 1847. According to
Thackeray this chap-book tale was written by Fielding.
Speaking of the passage, "The giant roared hideously but Tom
had no more mercy on him than a bear upon a dog," he said:
"No one but Fielding could have described battle so." Of the
passage, "Having increased his strength by good living and
improved his courage by drinking strong ale," he remarked:
"No one but Fielding could have given such an expression."
The quality of the English of this chap-book is apparent in
the following sentence, taken from Ashton's version: "So Tom
stepped to a gate and took a rail for a staff."
In regard to their literary merit the chap-books vary
greatly. Some evidently are works of scholars who omitted to
sign their names. In the collection by Ashton those
deserving mention for their literary merit are: Patient
Grissel, by Boccaccio; Fortunatus; Valentine and Orson;
Joseph and His Brethren; The Friar and the Boy; Reynard
the Fox, from Caxton's translation; Tom Hickatkrift,
probably by Fielding; and The Foreign Travels of Sir John
1708-90. Chap-Books. Printed by J. White, of York,
established at Newcastle, 1708. These included: Tom
Hickathrift; Jack the Giant-Killer; and Cock Robin.
1750. A New Collection of Fairy Tales. 2 vols.
1760. Mother Goose's Melodies. A collection of many
nursery rhymes, songs, and a few old ballads and tales,
published by John Newbery. The editor is unknown, but most
likely was Oliver Goldsmith. The title of the collection may
have been borrowed from Perrault's Contes de ma Mere
l'Oye, of which an English version appeared in 1729. The
title itself has an interesting history dating hundreds of
years before Perrault's time. By 1777 Mother Goose's
Melodies had passed the seventh edition. In 1780 they were
published by Carnan, Newbery's stepson, under the title
Sonnets for the Cradle. In 1810 Gammer Gurton's Garland,
a collection, was edited by Joseph Ritson, an English
scholar. In 1842 J.O. Halliwell issued, for the Percy
Society, The Nursery Rhymes of England. The standard
modern text should consist of Newbery's book with such
additions from Ritson and Halliwell as bear internal
evidence of antiquity and are true nursery rhymes.
1770. Queen Mab, A Collection of Entertaining Tales of
1783. The Lilliputian Magazine. Illustrated by Thomas
Bewick, published by Carnan.
1788. The Pleasing Companion, A Collection of Fairy Tales.
1788. Fairy Tales Selected from the Best Authors, 2 vols.
1770-91. Books published by John Evans, of Long Lane.
Printed on coarse sugar paper. They included: Cock Robin,
1791; Mother Hubbard; Cinderella; and The Tragical Death
of an Apple Pye.
1809. A Collection of Popular Stories for the Nursery,
translated from French, Italian, and Old English, by
Benjamin Tabart, in 4 volumes.
1810 (about). Lilliputian Library, by J.G. Rusher, of
Bridge St., Banbury. The Halfpenny Series included:
Mother Hubbard and Her Dog; Jack The
Giant-Killer; Dick Whittington and His Cat; The
History of Tom Thumb (Middlesex); Death and
Burial of Cock Robin; and Cinderella and Her Glass
The Penny Series included:-
History of a Banbury Cake, and Jack the
Giant-Killer, designed by Craig, engraved by Lee.
Of Rusher's books those engraved by the Bewick School were:
Code Robin; The History of Tom Thumb; and
Children in the Wood.
Rusher's books also included:
Mother Hubbard and Her Dog, Cinderella and Her
Glass Slipper, and Dick Whittington and His
Cat, all designed by Cruikshank, engraved by
1818. Fairy Tales, or the Lilliputian Cabinet, collected
by Benj. Tabart, London. This was a new edition of the
collection of 1809, and contained twenty-four stories. A
full review of it may be seen in the Quarterly Review,
1819, No. 41, pp. 91-112. The tales included translations
from Perrault, Madame D'Aulnoy, Madame de Beaumont, tales
from The Thousand and One Nights, and from Robin Hood;
and the single tales of Jack the Oiant-Killer, Tom Thumb,
and Jack and the Bean-Stalk.
1824, 1826. German Popular Stories, translated by Edgar
Taylor, with illustrations by Cruikshank, published by
Charles Tilt, London. A new edition, introduction by Ruskin,
was published by Chatto &Windus, 1880.
The above are the main collections of fairy tales in England. Many individual publications show the gradual development of fairy tale illustration in England:-
1713-1767. John Newbery's Books for Children. Among these
were Beauty and the Beast, by Charles Lamb, 1765, and
Sinbad the Sailor, 1798.
1778. Fabulous Histories of the Robins. Mrs. Sarah
Trimmer. Cuts designed by Thomas Bewick, engraved by John
Thompson, Whittingham's Chiswick Press.
1755-1886. Life and Perambulations of a Mouse; and
Adventures of a Pin-Cushion. Dorothy Kilner,
1785. Baron Munchausen's Narratives of His Famous Travels
and Campaigns in Russia. Rudolf Raspe.
1788. Little Thumb and the Ogre. Illustrated by William
Blake; published by Dutton.
1790. The Death and Burial of Cock Robin. Illustrated by Thomas
1807. Tales from Shakespeare. Charles and Mary Lamb. W.J.
Godwin and Co. William Blake illustrated an edition of these
tales, probably the original edition.
1813. Reprints of forgotten books, by Andrew Tuer: Dame
Wiggins of Lee; The Gaping Wide-Mouthed Waddling Frog: The
House that Jack Built. Dame Wiggins of Lee was first
printed by A.K. Newman and Co., Minerva Press. Original cuts
by Stennet or Sinnet. Reprinted by Allen, 1885, with
illustrations added by Kate Greenaway.
1841. King of the Golden River. John Ruskin. Illustrated
by Richard Doyle, 1884.
1844. Home Treasury, by "Felix Summerley" (Sir Henry
Cole). "Felix Summerley" was a reformer in children's books.
He secured the assistance of many of the first artists of
his time: Mulready, Cope, Horsley, Redgrave, Webster, all of
the Royal Academy, Linnell and his three sons, Townsend, and
others. These little books were published by Joseph Cundall
and have become celebrated through Thackeray's mention of
them. They aimed to cultivate the affections, fancy,
imagination, and taste of children, they were a distinct
contrast to the Peter Parley books.
They were new books, new combinations of old materials, and
reprints, purified but not weakened. Their literature
possessed brightness. The books were printed in the best
style of the Chiswick Press, with bindings and end papers
especially designed. They included these tales: Puck's
Reports to Oberon; Four New Fairy Tales; The Sisters; Golden
Locks; Grumble and Cherry; Little Red Riding Hood, with
four colored illustrations by Webster; Beauty and the
Beast, with four colored illustrations by Horsley; Jack
and the Bean-Stalk, with four colored illustrations by
Cope; Jack the Giant-Killer, also illustrated by Cope; and
The Pleasant History of Reynard, the Fox, with forty of
the fifty-seven etchings made by Everdingen, in 1752.
1824-1883. Publications by Richard Doyle. These included
The Fairy Ring, 1845; Snow White and Rosy Red, 1871;
Jack the Giant-Killer, 1888, etc.
1846. Undine, by De La Motte Fouque, illustrated by John
Tenniel, published by James Burns.
1846. The Good-Natured Bear, by Richard Hengist Home, the
English critic. This was illustrated by Frederick Taylor,
published probably by Cundall. The book is now out of print,
but deserves to be reprinted.
1847-1864. Cruikshank Fairy Library. A series of small
books in paper wrappers. Not equal to the German popular
stories in illustration. It included Tom Thumb, 1830;
John Gilpin, 1828 (realistic); and The Brownies, 1870.
1847. Bob and Dog Quiz. Author unknown. Revived by E.V.
Lucas in Old-fashioned Tales. Illustrated by F.D. Bedford;
published by Stokes, 1905.
1850. The Child's Own Book. Published in London. There was
an earlier edition, not before 1830. The introduction, which
in the 1850 edition was copied from the original, indicates
by its style that the book was written early in the
nineteenth century. The book was the delight of generations
of children. It was a collection containing tales from
Arabian Nights, Perrault's tales of Cinderella,
Puss-in-Boots, Hop-o'-my-Thumb, Bluebeard, etc., D'Aulnoy's
Valentine and Orson, chap-book stories of Dick
Whittinqton, Fortunatus, Griselda, Robinson Crusoe, The
Children in the Wood, Little Jack, and others. A recent
edition of this book is in the Young Folks' library, vol.
1, published by Hall &Locke, Boston, 1901.
1850 (about). The Three Bears. Illustrated by Absalon and
Harrison Weir. Addy and Co.
1824-1889. Work by Mrs. Mary Whateley. She had a Moslem
school in Cairo and exerted a fairy tale influence.
1826-1887. The Little Lame Prince; Adventures of a
Brownie; and The Fairy Book. Produced by Mrs. Dinah
1854. The Rose and the Ring, by William M. Thackeray. A
modern edition contains the original illustrations with
additions by Monsell. Crowell.
1855. Granny's Story Box. A collection. Illustrated by J.
Knight; published by Piper, Stephenson, and Spence.
1856. Granny's Wonderful Chair, containing Prince
Fairy-foot. Written by Frances Browne, a blind Irish
1863. Water Babies. Charles Kingsley. Sir Noel Patton. The
1865. Stories Told to a Child, including Fairy Tales; Mopsa
the Fairy, 1869. By Jean Ingelow.
1865. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
(Charles Dodgson), with 42 illustrations by John Tenniel,
published by Macmillan Company, Oxford. First edition
recalled. Later editions were published by Richard Clay,
1869. At the Back of the North Wind; The Princess and the
Goblin, 1871. By George MacDonald. Arthur Hughes. Strahan.
Reprinted by Blackie.
1870. The Brownies; 1882, Old-fashioned Fairy Tales. By
1873. A Series of Toy-Books for Children, by Walter Crane
(1845-1914). Published by Routledge and printed in colors by
Edmund Evans. Twenty-seven of these stories in nine volumes
are published by John Lane, Bodley Head. Princess
Fioromonde, 1880, Grimm's Household Stories, 1882, and
The Cuckoo Clock, 1887, all by Mrs. Molesworth, were also
illustrated by Crane.
1878-. Picture-Books, by Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886).
These were sixteen in number. They are published by F.
1875-. Stories from the Eddas; Dame Wiggins of Lee
(Allen); and The Pied Piper of Hamelin. These delightful
books by Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) were published by
Routledge and engraved by Edmund Evans. They are now
published by F. Warne.
This brings the English side of the subject down to the present time. Present editions of fairy tales are given in Chapter VI.
In Germany there were also many translations from the French of Perrault and D'Aulnoy. There were editions in 1764, 1770, etc. Most of those before the Grimms' Tales were not important. One might mention:-
1782. Popular German Stories, by Musaeus.
1818. Fables, Stories, and Tales for Children, by Caroline
1819. Bohemian Folk-Tales, by Wolfgang Gerle.
1812-1814. Kinder und Haus-Maerchen, by Jacob and William
Grimm. The second edition was published in 3 volumes in
Berlin, by Reiner, in 1822. This latter work formed an era
in popular literature and has been adopted as a model by all
true collectors since.
Concerning the modern German fairy tale, the Germans have paid such special attention to the selection and grading of children's literature that their library lists are to be recommended. Wolgast, the author of Vom Kinderbuch, is an authority on the child's book. The fairy tale received a high estimate in Germany and no nation has attained a higher achievement in the art of the fairy tale book. The partial list simply indicates the slight knowledge of available material and would suggest an inviting field to librarians. A great stimulus to children's literature would be given by a knowledge of what the Germans have already accomplished in this particular. In Germany a child's book, before it enters the market, must first be accepted by a committee who test the book according to a standard of excellence. Any book not coming up to the standard is rejected. A few of the German editions in use are given:-
Bilderbuecher, by Loewensohn.
Bilderbuecher, by Scholz.
Liebe Maerchen. One form of the above, giving three tales
in one volume.
Maerchen, by W. Hauff, published by Lowe. One edition,
illustrated by Arthur Rackham, is published by Dutton. The
Caravan Tales is an edition published by Stokes.
Maerchen, by Musaus, published by Von K.A. Mueller.
1777-1843. Undine, by La Motte Fouque. A recent edition,
illustrated by Rackham, is published by Doubleday.
1817-77. Books by Otillie Wildermuth. (What of hers should
be translated and included?)
Hanschen im Blaubeerenwald; Hanschens Skifart Maerchen,
both by Elsa Beskow, published by Carl.
Windchen; and Wurzelkindern, both by Sybille von Olfers,
published by Schreiber.
Das Maerchen von den Sandmannlein, by Riemann, published by
Der Froschkoenig, by Liebermann, published by Scholz.
Weisst du weviel Sternlein stehen, by Lewinski, published
In Sweden there appeared translations of Perrault and D'Aulnoy. The Blue-Bird was oftenest printed as a chap-book. Folk-tales were collected in:-
Swedish Tales, a collection. H. Von Schroter.
1844. Folk-Tales. George Stevens and Hylten Cavallius.
Sweden has given us the modern fairy tale, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (2 volumes). This delightful tale by Selma Lagerloef, born 1858, and a winner of the Nobel prize, has established itself as a child's classic. It has been translated by V.S. Howard, published by Doubleday, 1907.
In Norway we have:-
1851. Norske Folkeeventyr, collected by Asbjoernsen and Moe.
1862. Norse Tales. The above tales translated by Sir
George W. Dasent.
In Denmark we have:-
Sagas of Bodvar Biarke.
Danske Folkeeventyr, by M. Winther, Copenhagen, 1823.
1843-60. Danmarks Folkesagn, 3 vols., by J.M. Thiele.
1805-1875. Fairy Tales, by Hans Christian Andersen. These
tales are important as marking the beginning of the modern
fairy tale. They are important also as literary fairy tales
and have not been equaled in modern times.
In Slavonia we have:-
Wochentliche Nachrichten, by Busching, published by Schottky.
In Hungary we have:-
1822. Marchen der Magyaren, by George von Gaal.
In Greece and Russia no popular tales were collected before the time of the Grimms.
In Italy the two great collections of the world of fairy tales have been mentioned. Italy has also given the modern fairy tale which has been accepted as a classic: Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (Carlo Lorenzini). This has been illustrated by Copeland, published by Ginn; and illustrated by Folkhard, published by Dutton.
In America the publication of fairy tales was at first a reprinting of English editions. In colonial times, previous to the revolution, booksellers imported largely from England. After the revolution a new home-growth in literature gradually developed. At first this was largely in imitation of literature in England. After the time of Washington Irving a distinct American adult literature established itself. The little child's toy-book followed in the wake of the grown-up's fiction. The following list shows the growth of the American fairy tale, previous to 1870. Recent editions are given in Chapter VI.
1747-1840. Forgotten Books of the American Nursery, A
History of the Development of the American Story-Book.
Halsey, Rosalie V. Boston, C.E. Goodspeed &Co., 1911. 244
1785-1788. Isaiah Thomas, Printer, Writer, and Collector.
Nichols, Charles L. A paper read April 12, 1911, before the
Club of Odd Volumes.... Boston. Printed for the Club of Odd
Volumes, 1912. 144 pp. List of juveniles 1787-88: pp.
1785. Mother Goose. The original Mother Goose's melody, as
first issued by John Newbery, of London, about A.D. 1760.
Reproduced in facsimile from the edition as reprinted by
Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, Mass., A.D. 1785 (about) ...
Albany, J. Munsell's Sons, 1889. 28 pp.
1787. Banbury Chap-Boohs and Nursery Toy-Booh Literature
(of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries) ...
Pearson, Edwin. With very much that is interesting and
valuable appertaining to the early typography of children's
books relating to Great Britain and America.... London, A.
Reader, 1890: 116 pp. Impressions from wood-cut blocks by T.
and J. Bewick, Cruikshank, Craig, Lee, Austin, and others.
1789. The Olden Time Series. Gleanings chiefly from old
newspapers of Boston and Salem, Mass. Brooks, Henry M.,
comp. Boston, Ticknor &Co., 1886. 6 vols. The Books that
Children Read in 1798 ... by T.C. Cushing: vol. 6, pp.
1800-1825. Goodrich, S.G. Recollections of a Lifetime.
New York, Miller, Orton, and Mulligan, 1856. 2 vols. Children's
books (1800-1825): vol. 1, pp. 164-74.
1686. The History of Tom Thumb. John Dunton, Boston.
1728. Chap-Books. Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia.
1730. Small Histories. Andrew Bradford, Philadelphia.
These included Tom Thumb, Tom Hickathrift, and Dick
1744. The Child's New Plaything. Draper &Edwards, Boston.
Reprint. Contained alphabet in rhyme, proverbs, fables, and
stories: St. George and the Dragon; Fortunatus; Guy of
Warwick; Brother and Sister; Reynard the Fox ; and The
Wolf and the Kids.
1750. John Newbery's books. Advertised in Philadelphia
Gazette. The Pretty Book for Children probably included
Cinderella, Tom Thumb, etc.
1760. All juvenile publications for sale in England.
Imported and sold by Hugh Gaine, New York.
1766. Children's books. Imported and sold by John Mein, a
London bookseller who had a shop in Boston. Included The
Famous Tommy Thumb's Story Book; Leo the Great Giant ;
Urax, or the Fair Wanderer; and The Cruel Giant,
1787. All Newbery's publications. Reprinted by Isaiah
Thomas, Worcester, Mass.
1794. Arabian Nights. The Arabian Nights Entertainments
.... The first American edition.... Philadelphia, H. &P.
Rice; Baltimore, J. Rice &Co., 1794. 2 vols.
1804. Blue Beard. A New History of Blue Beard, written by
Gaffer Black Beard, for the Amusement of Little Jack Black
and his Pretty Sisters. Philadelphia, J. Adams, 1804. 31
1819. Rip Van Winkle. A legend included in the works of
Washington Irving, published in London, 1819.
1823. A Visit from St. Nicholas. Clement Clark Moore, in
Troy Sentinel, Dec. 23, 1823. Written the year before for
his own family. The first really good American juvenile
story, though in verse.
1825. Babes in the Wood. The history of the children of
the wood.... To which is added an interesting account of the
Captive Boy. New York, N.B. Holmes. 36 pp. Plates.
1833. Mother Goose. The only true Mother Goose Melodies;
an exact reproduction of the text and illustrations of the
original edition, published and copyrighted in Boston in
1833 by Munroe &Francis.... Boston, Lee &Shepard, 1905.
1836. The Fairy Book. With eighty-one engravings on wood,
by Joseph A. Adams. New York, Harper &Bros. 1836. 301 pp.
Introduction by "John Smith." Edited by C.G. Verplanck,
1844. Fairy Land, and Other Sketches for Youths, by the
author of Peter Parley's Tales (Samuel G. Goodrich).
Boston, J. Munroe &Co. 167 pp. Plates, Cromo. Lith. of
Bouve &Sharp, Boston.
1848. Rainbows for Children, by L. Maria Child, ed. New
York, C.S. Francis &Co. 170 pp. 28 original sketches ... by
S. Wallin.... B.F. Childs, wood engraver: p. 8. Advertising
pages: New books published by C.S. Francis &Co., N.Y....
The Fairy Gift and the Fairy Gem. Four volumes of choice
fairy tales. Each illustrated with 200 fine engravings by
French artists: p. 2.
1851. Wonder Book, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Illustrated by
W. Crane, 60 designs, published by Houghton, 1910.
1852. Legends of the Flowers, by Susan Pindar. New York,
D. Appleton &Co., 178 pp.
1853. Fairy Tales and Legends of Many Nations, by Charles
B. Burkhardt. New York, Chas. Scribner. 277 pp. Illustrated
by W. Walcutt and J.H. Cafferty.
1854. The Little Glass Shoe, and Other Stories for
Children. Philadelphia, Charles H. Davis. 128 pp.
Advertising pages: A description of illustrated juvenile
books, published by Charles H. Davis: 16 pp. A Book of
Fairy Stories: p. 9.
1854. The History of Whittington and His Cat. Miss Corner
and Alfred Crowquill. Dick Whittington is said to have
been the best seller among juvenile publications for five
1855. Flower Fables, by Louisa May Alcott. Boston, G.W.
Briggs &Co. 182 pp.
1855. The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Published now by Houghton, illustrated by Frederick
1864. Seaside and Fireside Fairies, by George Blum.
Translated from the German of Georg Blum and Louis Wahl. By
A.L. Wister. Philadelphia, Ashmead &Evans, 292 pp.
1867. Grimm's Goblins, selected from the Household
Stories of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob L.K. Grimm. Boston,
Ticknor &Fields. 111 pp.
1867. Fairy Book. Fairy Tales of All Nations, by Edouard
Laboulaye. Translated by Mary Booth. New York, Harper Bros., 363 pp. Engravings.
1867. The Wonderful Stories of Fuz-buz the Fly and Mother
Grabem the Spider. By S. Weir Mitchell. Philadelphia, J.B.
Lippincott &Co. 79 pp.
1868. Folks and Fairies. Stories for little children. Lucy
Comfort. New York, Harpers, 259 pp. Engravings. Advertising
pages: Six fairy tales published by Harper &Bros.
1870. Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper. Boston,
Fields, Osgood &Co. 1871. 8 pp. Colored plates by Alfred
1873. Mother Goose. Illustrations of Mother Goose's
Melodies. By Alexander Anderson. New York. Privately printed
by C.L. Moreau (Analectic Press), 1873, 36 1. 10 numb. 1.
(Designed and engraved on wood.)
1870. Beauty and the Beast, by Albert Smith. New York,
Manhattan Pub. Co., 1870. 64 pp. With illustrations by
This brings the American child's fairy tale up to recent publications of the present day which are given in the chapter, "Sources of Material." An attempt has been made here to give a glimpse of folk and fairy tales up to the time of the Grimms, and a view of modern publications in France, Germany, England, and America. The Grimms started a revolution in folk-lore and in their lifetime took part in the collection of many tales of tradition and influenced many others in the same line of work. An enumeration of what was accomplished in their lifetime appears in the notes of Grimm's Household Tales, edited by Margaret Hunt, published by Bonn's Libraries, vol. II, pp. 531. etc.
In modern times the Folk-Lore Society of England and America has been established. Now almost every nation has its folk-lore society and folk-tales are being collected all over the world. Altogether probably Russia has collected fifteen hundred such tales, Germany twelve hundred, Italy and France each one thousand, and India seven hundred. The work of the Grimms, ended in 1859, was continued by Emanuel Cosquin, who, in his Popular Tales of Lorraine, has made the most important recent contribution to folklore,-important for the European tale and important as showing the relation of the European tale to that of India.
The principal recent collections of folk-lore are:-
Legends and Fairy Tales of Ireland. Croker. 1825.
Welsh and Manx Tales. Sir John Rhys. 1840-.
Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Chambers. 1847.
Tales of the West Highlands. Campbell. 1860.
Popular Tales from the Norse. Dasent. 1862.
Zulu Nursery Tales. Callaway. 1866.
Old Deccan Days. Frere. 1868.
Fireside Tales of Ireland. Kennedy. 1870.
Indian Fairy Tales. Miss Stokes. 1880.
Buddhist Birth Stories. Rhys Davids. 1880.
Kaffir Folk-Lore. Theal. 1882.
Folk-Tales of Bengal. Day. 1883.
Wide Awake Stories. Steel and Temple. 1884.
Italian Popular Tales. Crane. 1885.
Popular Tales of Lorraine. Cosquin. 1886.
Popular Tales and Fictions. Clouston. 1887.
Folk-Tales of Kashmir. Knowles. 1887.
Tales of Ancient Egypt. Maspero. 1889.
Tales of the Sun. Mrs. Kingscote. 1890.
Tales of the Punjab. Steel. 1894.
Jataka Tales. Cowell. 1895.
Russian Folk-Tales. Bain. 1895.
Cossack Fairy Tales. Bain. 1899.
New World Fairy Book. Kennedy. 1906.
Fairy Tales, English, Celtic, and Indian. Joseph Jacobs.
This brings the subject down to the present time. The present-day contributions to folk-lore are found best in the records of the Folk-lore Society, published since its founding in London, in 1878; and daily additions, in the folk-lore journals of the various countries.
Adams, Oscar Fay: The Dear Old Story-Tellers. Lothrop.
Ashton, John: Chap-Books of the 18th Century. Chatto Windus. London, 1882.
Bunce, John T.: Fairy Tales, Origin and Meaning. Macmillan,
Chamberlain, A.F.: The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought.
Clouston, W.A.: Popular Tales and Fictions. Edinburgh,
Cyclopaedia: "Mythology." Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Cox, Miss Roalfe: Cinderella. Introduction by Lang. Nutt, 1892.
Dasent, George W.: Popular Tales from the Norse. Introduction.
Fiske, John: Myth and Myth-Makers. Houghton.
Field, Mrs. E.M.: The Child and His Book. Gardner, Darton &Co.
Frazer, J.G.: The Golden Bough. (Spring ceremonies and
primitive view of the soul.) Macmillan.
Frere, Miss: Old Deccan Days. Introduction. McDonough.
Godfrey, Elizabeth: English Children in the Olden Time. Dutton,
Grimm, William and Jacob: Household Tales. Edited with
valuable notes, by Margaret Hunt. Introduction by Lang. Bell Sons, Bohn's Libraries.
Guerber, Helene A.: Legends of the Middle Ages. (Reynard the
Fox) American Book Co.
Halliwell, J.O.: Nursery Rhymes of England.
Ibid.: Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales. Smith, 1849.
Halsey, Rosalie: Forgotten Books of the American Nursery.
Goodspeed, Boston, 1911.
Hartland, E.S.: Science of Fairy Tales. Preface. Scribner,
Ibid.: English Folk and Fairy Tales. Camelot series, Scott,
Hartland, Sidney: Legend of Perseus (origin of a tale).
Hewins, Caroline M.: The History of Children's Books.
Atlantic, 61: 112 (Jan., 1888).
Jacobs, Joseph: Reynard the Fox. Cranford Series. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Introduction, Notes and Appendix. Putnam.
Keightley, Thomas: Fairy Mythology. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Tales and Popular Fictions. Whittaker &Co., London,
Lang, Andrew: Custom and Myth. Longmans, London, 1893.
Mabie, Hamilton: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know.
MacDonald, George: The Light Princess. Introduction. Putnam.
Magazine: "Myths and Fairy Tales." Fortnightly Review, May,
Mitchell, Donald G.: About Old Story-Tellers. Scribners. 1877.
Moses, Montrose: Children's Books and Reading. Kennerley.
Mulock, Miss: Fairy Book. Preface. Crowell.
Pearson, Edwin. Banbury Chap-Books and Nursery Toy-Book
Literature (18th and early 19th centuries). London. A.
Perrault, Charles: Popular Tales. Edited by A. Lang.
Introduction. Oxford, 1888.
Ritson, J.: Fairy Tales. Pearson, London, 1831.
Scott, Sir Walter: Minstrelsy of Scottish Border. Preface to
Tamlane, "Dissertation on Fairies," p. 108.
Skinner, H.M.: Readings in Folk-Lore. American Book Co.
Steel, Flora A.: Tales of the Punjab. Introduction and
Tabart, Benj.: Fairy Tales, or the Lilliputian Cabinet. London,
1818. Review: The Quarterly Review, 1819, No. 41, pp. 91-112.
Tappan, Eva M.: The Children's Hour. Introduction to
"Folk-Stories and Fables." Houghton.
Taylor, Edgar: German Popular Stories. Introduction by Ruskin.
Chatto & Windus.
Tylor, E.B.: Primitive Culture. Holt, 1889.
Warner: Fairy Tales. Library of the World's Best Literature,
Welsh, Charles: Fairy Tales Children Love. Introduction. Dodge.
Ibid.: "The Early History of Children's Books in New
England." New England Magazine, n.s. 20: 147-60 (April,
Ibid.: A Chap-Book. Facsimile Edition. 1915. World Book Co.
Ibid.: Mother Goose. Facsimile Edition. 1915. World Book Co.
White, Gleeson: "Children's Books and Their Illustrators."
International Studio, Special Winter Number, 1897-98.
Kready, Laura F. A Study of Fairy Tales. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916.