The 1892 collection "Celtic Fairy Tales" is a beautiful anthology which highlights Celtic children's literature. Folklorist Joseph Jacobs spent his entire career gathering a host of fairy tales known in the English language and compiling them into a number of anthologies. "Celtic Fairy Tales" includes popular stories such as "Conall Yellowclaw," "The Sea-Maiden," and "Battle of the Birds," all of which were gathered straight from oral tradition by Jacobs to be preserved forever in text. Like the famous German fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, not every story in "Celtic Fairy Tales" ends happily for all the characters. For example, in "Fair, Brown, and Trembling," the oldest sister tried to kill the youngest, so she was banished to the ocean in a barrel with only a small amount of provisions for food. Modern readers will also recognize parallels between well-known fairy tales and the stories in Jacobs' anthology. "Jack and his Comrades" is similar to "Town Musicians of Bremen," a story about a group of farm animals who fight four robbers away from their home. "Celtic Fairy Tales" is not only a solid collection of stories for young children, but adults will understand the significance of Joseph Jacob's work to preserve the legacy of Celtic folklore forever.
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January 01, 2012
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