By Katharine Briggs
In 1970 Katharine Briggs released in 4 volumes the tremendous and authoritative Dictionary of British Folktales and Legends to broad acclaim. This sampler contains some of the best of these stories and legends. accumulated within, readers will locate an extravagance of lovely princesses and stout sturdy boys, sour-faced witches and kings with hearts of gold. each one story is a masterpiece of storytelling, from the hilarious 'Three Sillies' to the delightfully macabre 'Sammle's Ghost'.
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Extra resources for British Folk Tales and Legends: A Sampler (Routledge Classics)
Gobborn Seer” comes from the Irish “Goban Saor”, a travelling carpenter, a godlike the golden ball character somewhat in the tradition of Wayland Smith. The tale is to be found in Ireland. “The Peasant’s Wise Daughter”, to which this tale bears some resemblance, occurs in Kennedy’s Fireside Stories. A wise wife, who compensates for her husband’s lack of intelligence, is to be found in “A Pottle of Brains”. THE GOLDEN BALL There were two lasses, daughters of one mother, and as they came from the fair, they saw a right bonny young man stand at the house-door before them.
See “The Fox and the Magpie”. THE FARMER AND HIS OX There were a zurly old varmer and ’e ’ad a girt ox. One day ’e said to it, “Thee girt orkurd vule. Stupid vule thou be. ” Ruth L. Tongue, Folktales of England, p. 140. 19 20 fables and exempla Note: Baughman records only American versions, the earliest in 1925. Text from South Carolina. This could be classiﬁed as a Shaggy Dog story, but the brevity and the moral both qualify it to be considered as a fable. THE YALLER-LEGG’D COCK’RIL He’s a good hand at swaggerin’ hissen oﬀ, he is.
From that hour, that weird roaming ceased, as though Herla had transferred his wandering (Errores, a pun containing the idea of error) to us, and had gained rest for himself. ) Folk-Lore of Herefordshire, E. M. Leather, p. 172. Derived from Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium. Note: The Irish tale of the Return of Ossian is one of the most poetic of many stories about the miraculous passage of time in fairyland. A widespread Japanese version is “Urashima Taro” (Folktales of Japan, no. 32). Hartland devoted three chapters to the subject in The Science of Fairy Tales.