You’ll find all of those here. Other legends—shorter russian fairy tales in English for children—can be found in a special section of their own.
A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech and other powers of humankind. Once upon a timeand they lived happily ever after. Do you see a kind, innocent character? Do you see a poor working girl, a poor family, a poor shepherd? Do you see magical things happening? You might see fairies, trolls, elves, goblins, etc. But pay close attention to the stories and you will see bigger meanings meant not just for children.
This article isn’t completed yet, but there is still quite a bit of helpful information provided. While it is a question easily asked, it’s far from easily answered. The challenge begins with the nature of the literary fairy tale, in other words, the tale recorded into a print medium, making it accessible to readers, fixing it in one form in print. Literary tales, overall, have derived from oral traditions. Once recorded and published, the literary tales have in turn influenced oral tradition.
Study of tales predating the earliest literary versions is the work of doctoral dissertations and professional folklorists. In the end, while the research is commendable, the theories are just that, theories based on fragments, descriptions of tales in other sources, and other mostly vague references. If the text is not available on the site, usually directions to print materials are provided. The challenge is to find the information. This article is being added in hopes of guiding you to the information you seek. Before we begin, please don’t expect modern day horror stories. We are still dealing with fairy tales and folklore here.
While the “gruesome” versions of the tales are not recommended for young readers, they are not horror movies on paper either. It is true that the older versions of the tales contain adult content which has been edited, glossed over, or deleted over the years, primarily sex, incest, murder, and cannibalism to name a few. The earliest known origins of fairy tales go back to the worlds’ earliest cultures and their mythologies, but in forms barely recognizable as fairy tales. For obvious geographic reasons, Greek and Roman mythology have the strongest connection to western European folklore. After ancient mythology, fairy tale history skips centuries until circa 1300 A.
Gesta Romanorum, a Latin work, is produced. It is a collection of tales and anecdotes thought to have influenced William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queen. Roughly 200 years later, One Thousand and One Arabian Nights is first recorded. A new book published in early 2007 is Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Latin Past of Wonderful Lies by Jan M. I haven’t had the opportunity to review the book yet, but it appears to be a study of folklore and fairy tales of the time period.
In 1550 and 1553 in Italy, Gianfrancesco Straparola published two volumes comprising Le Piacevoli Notti or The Facetious Nights, also known as The Pleasant Nights and The Delightful Nights. It, too, is a collection of tales and anecdotes. The first volume appeared in France as early as 1560 and the second in 1573, spreading the tales across political and cultural borders. It is written in the hard-to-translate Neapolitan dialect. Volumes 1-3 appeared in 1634, followed by volume 4 in 1635 and volume 5 in 1636. They were published posthumously since Basile died in 1632.