marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Celtic Fairy Tales

After English fairy tales, Joseph Jacobs turned to Celtic ones, in Celtic Fairy Tales and More Celtic Fairy Tales. Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx. . . though he complained that some areas were less gathered than others.  And his first resolution to use only those form peasants who spoke no English did not last because he wanted more variety.

Some are legends, such as the story of Deidre or that of Powel and Rhiannon, and some are cumulative tales, like "Munachar and Manachar", and some are just fairy lore like "Brewery of Eggshells" or "Elidore."

Others are recognizable fairy tales, though you won't find here any of the most poupular tales. Though you will find variants, such as "Fair, Brown, and Trembling", where, even though Trembling is persecuted by her own sisters and goes to church, not the ball, and her story continues even after she has a baby, she is still a Cinderella variant. Or "Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree" which is a Snow White tale even if the queen questions a salmon, not a mirror, and instead of a huntsman letting her go in the woods, her father marries her off secretly to a foreign prince, who, indeed, is not the one who rescues her from her sleep. Some go much farther afield. Indeed, "Smallhead and the King's Sons" put together tale types I had never seen before.

I particularly like "The Greek Princess and the Young Gardener."

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