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Italian Popular Tales   By: (1844-1927)

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Italian Popular Tales by Thomas Frederick Crane is a captivating collection of folklore and mythical stories that delve into the rich cultural heritage of Italy. Through this book, Crane takes readers on a delightful journey into a world of enchantment, where heroes, villains, and magical creatures come to life.

The strength of this collection lies in its ability to transport readers to a bygone era, where oral traditions and storytelling were a fundamental part of Italian culture. Crane's meticulous research and dedication to preserving the authenticity of these tales make them feel as though they have been passed down through generations.

The stories are divided into different categories, such as "Animal Stories," "Wonders of Nature," and "Wizards and Heroes," making it easy for readers to navigate through the book. Each tale is unique in its own way, and readers will find themselves engrossed in the fantastical adventures and moral lessons embedded within them.

What sets Italian Popular Tales apart from other folklore collections is the vividness with which Crane narrates each story. His writing style is immersive, drawing readers into the mystical landscapes and allowing them to fully experience the triumphs and tribulations of the characters. Whether it's a mischievous fairy or a valiant knight, Crane brings each character to life with such clarity that readers will feel as if they have met them in person.

Moreover, the book offers valuable insights into the cultural and historical context of the tales. Crane provides explanations and commentaries that enhance the reader's understanding of the stories, shedding light on their origins and significance. This additional layer of information adds depth to the book and elevates it from a mere compilation of tales to a comprehensive study of Italian folklore.

While the book is undoubtedly a treasure trove of enthralling stories, some readers may find certain elements repetitive. There are instances where similar themes and motifs reappear across different tales, which can occasionally make the reading experience predictable. However, this does not detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.

In conclusion, Italian Popular Tales by Thomas Frederick Crane is a captivating and essential collection for anyone interested in folklore, mythology, or Italian culture. Crane's meticulous research, engaging storytelling, and insightful commentaries make this book an invaluable resource and a delight to read. This anthology of enchanting tales will transport readers to a realm of magic and instill a sense of wonderment that will stay with them long after they have turned the final page.

First Page:

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected.

Carets (^) indicate a superscript letter.

This book has two types of notes. Footnotes are in the text and are indicated by a letter. These have been moved to the end of the appropriate paragraph. Endnotes are indicated by a number, and the notes for all the chapters are at the end of the stories.




Professor of the Romance Languages in Cornell University

Boston and New York Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press, Cambridge

Copyright, 1885, by Thomas Frederick Crane. All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.




The growing interest in the popular tales of Europe has led me to believe that a selection from those of Italy would be entertaining to the general reader, and valuable to the student of comparative folk lore.

The stories which, with but few exceptions, are here presented for the first time to the English reader, have been translated from recent Italian collections, and are given exactly as they were taken down from the mouths of the people, and it is in this sense, belonging to the people, that the word popular is used in the title of this work... Continue reading book >>

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