Originally published in 1885, Italian Popular Tales is a fascinating trove of fairy tales, legends, ghost stories, nursery tales, and jests, and other oral accounts that were collected, recorded, translated, and annotated by Thomas Crane, the first folklorist to bring the riches of Italian oral tradition to the English-speaking world. Collectors in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries unearthed a wealth of stories from around the world and published them in English translations for the delight of general readers, young and old. Sadly, most of these anthologies have long been out of print. Italian Popular Tales brings back to life this key anthology of traditional tales from the golden age of folklore discovery. Crane's monumental achievement illustrates the enormous scope of his research, incomparable to other collections in the English language. In this modern edition, Crane's love for his work shines through the scholarship just as it did more than a century ago. The volume presents a virtually unaltered edition of this classic work that is enhanced by an authoritative Introduction by Jack Zipes.
This insightful essay discusses the significance of the collection and its original collector; the original collector's methodology and translation practices; and the original period context. Certain to be of interest to folklorists, this classic collection is also meant to delight and amuse readers, whether a parent, storyteller, teacher, student, scholar, or just someone who enjoys original stories and authentic folk wisdom.