British Fairy Tales

Oscar Wilde.  The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1980.

Best known for his humorous plays, Wilde also produced two volumes of fairy tales. Many, such as The Happy Prince, are highly moral, demonstrating the virtue of self-sacrifice and sympathy with the suffering and poor.

Icelandic Fairy Tales

Icelandic Fairy Tales. [Translated by Mrs. A. W. Hall. New York: A. L. Burt, [1897?].

In the preface, the translator notes that “It is remarkable too that… in these tales it is for the most part the young princess or peasant maiden who undergoes all the hardships and trials, and after countless dangers rescues the prince.”

“Oriental Tales” and Maxfield Parrish

With the French publication of a complete edition of The Arabian Nights in the early 18th century, the European craze for “Oriental” stories began.  Despite being heavily Europeanized, these stories were seen as new and exotic.  Maxfield Parrish, who illustrated this version, also painted a series of covers for Hearst Magazine based on various fairy tales.  Parrish’s work is noted for its delicacy and luminosity, as well as his virtuosity with cobalt blue, now commonly called “Parrish blue” in his honor.

The Arabian nights : their best-known tales. Edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith. New York : C. Scribner’s Sons, 1909.

Queen Marie of Roumania

The Allies’ Fairy Tale Book. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co, London: William Heinemann, [1916].

With twelve colored plates illustrated by Arthur Rackham, The Allies’ Fairy Book presents a fairy tale from eleven Allied Powers during the First World War, including tales from England, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, and Belgium. The introduction’s purpose is to bring together the “fighting friends of humanity” in “our great national struggle to preserve the civilization of the world” against “the ‘people of peace’ [who] have no politics and are ignorant of the elements of patriotism.” The book also celebrates Queen Marie’s influence into bringing Roumania into the Allied battle.

Queen Marie of Roumania. The Queen of Roumania’s Fairy Book. New York: Stokes, 1926.

Marie of Roumania wrote several books, both autobiographical and children’s stories.  Born into the British royal family, she worked to bring her two countries closer together.  She wrote in her native English, but incorporated Roumanian words into the stories, as seen here.

Russian Fairy Tales

By the beginning of the 19th century, literary fairy tales were being written in Russia, some of which remain popular today; it wasn’t until the middle of the century that folk tales were collected systematically.  The height of fairy tale creation was in the ‘Silver Age’ from 1900 to the revolution of 1917, when many Symbolist poets were writing them.

Guy Daniels. The Falcon Under the Hat: Russian Merry Tales and Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, [1969].

Chukovskii, Kornei I. Skazki. [Fairy Tales.] Moskva: Academia, 1935. PG3476 C49 A6 1935.

Albert B. Lord. Russian Folk Tales. Illustrated by Teje Etchemendy. New York : Printed for the Members of the Limited Editions Club, 1970.

Spanish Fairy Tales

Wonder tales of Arabic influence appear in Spanish literature as early as the 11th century C.E. In the 1830’s, censorship of the press was ended, and this new freedom, combined with the Romantic appreciation for folk tales, led to the rise of literary fairy tales in Spain. Magical animals play a major part in Spanish tales and ballads.

F. Isabel Campoy. Tales our Abuelitas Told. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2006.

Edward W. and Margaret P. Dolch. Stories from Spain. Champaign, Ill. : Garrard Press, [1962].

…to all good children who believe in Fairies

W.T. Larned. Fairy Tales from France. New York : P.F. Volland Co., c1920.

Willaim Trowbridge Larned, the translator, dedicated this book to “All Good Children who Believe in Fairies, With Greetings from the Homeland of Cinderella.”


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