Myth-Folklore Unit: Europa's Fairy Book

Overview. You may have already encountered Joseph Jacobs in some earlier units in this class (Indian Fairy Tales, English Fairy Tales, Celtic Fairy Tales), and this unit consists of stories taken from a fascinating book he wrote called Europa's Fairy Book. Here Jacobs has chosen some of the fairy tales that he saw repeated again and again in different European traditions, and he has "mixed-and-matched" the different versions to come up with a new version that does not belong to any specific country, but instead to what you might call a combined European tradition. As a result, most of these are stories you probably know in some form already — Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Puss in Boots, Hansel and Grethel, The Valiant Little Tailor — but each time I am sure they will feature some twists and turns that will be new to you, especially if you only know the stories from Disney.

Language. Jacobs tells the fairy tales in modern literary prose, so it is not difficult reading.

Story Length. The stories in this unit are one or two pages in length.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on a single page: Europa's Fairy Book.

  1. The Cinder-Maid
  2. The Cinder-Maid (cont.)
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. The Language of Animals
  5. A Dozen at a Blow
  6. A Dozen at a Blow (cont.)
  7. The Earl of Cattenborough
  8. The Earl of Cattenborough (cont.)
  1. The Swan Maidens
  2. Androcles and the Lion
  3. A Visitor from Paradise
  4. Inside Again
  5. Johnnie and Grizzle
  6. Johnnie and Grizzle (cont.)
  7. Thumbkin