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Celtic Fairy Tales: By Joseph Jacobs - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books For young and old alike — 8 captivating tales filled with whimsy, charm, and magic: "The Fat How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books For young and old alike — 8 captivating tales filled with whimsy, charm, and magic: "The Fate of the Children of Lir," "The Shepherd of Middvai," "Beth Gellert," "The Tale of Ivan," "Morraha," "The Story of Deirdre," "The Llanfabon Changeling," and "The Sea-Maiden."


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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books For young and old alike — 8 captivating tales filled with whimsy, charm, and magic: "The Fat How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books For young and old alike — 8 captivating tales filled with whimsy, charm, and magic: "The Fate of the Children of Lir," "The Shepherd of Middvai," "Beth Gellert," "The Tale of Ivan," "Morraha," "The Story of Deirdre," "The Llanfabon Changeling," and "The Sea-Maiden."

30 review for Celtic Fairy Tales: By Joseph Jacobs - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Johnny

    In the United States, classic fairy tales have been bowdlerized. The dark symbols of ogres, giants, witches, and curses of the Brothers Grimm have been transformed into two-dimensional versions of themselves with curses often being more pranks than devastating supernatural spells and witches becoming more like stepmothers than old crones. Children are no longer eaten and killed with regularity as in the didactic tales of the ancient world where disobedient children quickly met their ends. Favori In the United States, classic fairy tales have been bowdlerized. The dark symbols of ogres, giants, witches, and curses of the Brothers Grimm have been transformed into two-dimensional versions of themselves with curses often being more pranks than devastating supernatural spells and witches becoming more like stepmothers than old crones. Children are no longer eaten and killed with regularity as in the didactic tales of the ancient world where disobedient children quickly met their ends. Favorite Celtic Fairy Tales is one of those bargain Dover paperbacks that one often finds in outlet stores. Although the provenance is Celtic, in general, the names seem to be tied to the Welsh backgrounds. So, one finds the “Tale of Ivan” instead of “Ian” and “The Llanfabon Changeling” rather than an encounter with faerie on the Emerald Isle or in the land of kilts and bagpipes. To be sure, there is a wicked stepmother who turns four children into swans. A naïve reader expects some hero to transform them back for a happy ending, but such cannot be assumed in a Celtic fairy tale. The aforementioned “Tale of Ivan” contains a brutal murder. The (also) aforementioned “The Llanfabon Changeling” isn’t about delightful leprechauns but about a faerie troop which is bold in stealing children and forcing them into a dark land of shadows rather than the ever-dancing (but still dangerous) realm of Lord Dunsany’s “King of Elfland’s Daughter.” Favorite Celtic Fairy Tales is a quick read, but it isn’t primarily an anthology of happy endings. Some of the stories do have happy endings, but several of them would never pass the survey at a film’s pre-release screening. U.S. audiences tend to like neat wrap-ups and victorious protagonists. The world of Celtic fairy tales is one where the victories are not guaranteed and, even when they come, they tend to be costly. This is a nice change of pace, but you have to be in the mood for it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    After English fairy tales, Joseph Jacobs turned to Celtic ones, in this 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 " After English fairy tales, Joseph Jacobs turned to Celtic ones, in this 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."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Luci Block

    A fun fast read; very witty cautionary tales from Eire. Love the illustrations by John D. Batten. Favorite tale has to be a tie between "Jack and His Master" and "Hudden and Dudden and Donald O'Neary. Wait! "The Story-Teller at Fault" and "A Legend of Knockmany" was hilarious! Oh, I can't choose~~~ They're all pretty good! The only fault I can see is some tales (very few) have Irish terminology that I'm not familiar with, other than that I totally enjoyed reading this, just wish it was a longer vo A fun fast read; very witty cautionary tales from Eire. Love the illustrations by John D. Batten. Favorite tale has to be a tie between "Jack and His Master" and "Hudden and Dudden and Donald O'Neary. Wait! "The Story-Teller at Fault" and "A Legend of Knockmany" was hilarious! Oh, I can't choose~~~ They're all pretty good! The only fault I can see is some tales (very few) have Irish terminology that I'm not familiar with, other than that I totally enjoyed reading this, just wish it was a longer volume!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Lots of fun fairytales in this selection by Jacobs

  5. 5 out of 5

    Asaria

    I won't write anything original. Some of the best fairy tales I've ever read. Charming, full of wit and, what's more, well-written. I won't write anything original. Some of the best fairy tales I've ever read. Charming, full of wit and, what's more, well-written.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    I actually read these stories in two different editions. I started with the Collector’s Library edition of Jacobs’ Celtic Fairy Tales before realising that they had cut all Jacob’s original annotations and end-notes. Purely by chance I then I discovered this rather dusty copy hiding in the spare bedroom, spotted that it had all those end-notes and also contained Jacob’s follow-up More Celtic Fairy Tales, and did a bit of a book swap. The Collector’s Library edition is undoubtedly the more attrac I actually read these stories in two different editions. I started with the Collector’s Library edition of Jacobs’ Celtic Fairy Tales before realising that they had cut all Jacob’s original annotations and end-notes. Purely by chance I then I discovered this rather dusty copy hiding in the spare bedroom, spotted that it had all those end-notes and also contained Jacob’s follow-up More Celtic Fairy Tales, and did a bit of a book swap. The Collector’s Library edition is undoubtedly the more attractive book – this one is pretty old, has awkward page numbering that starts over again at 1 halfway through, and that annoying thing where illustrations are followed up by a completely blank page even in the middle of a story – but for me having access to Jacob’s notes on each story was more valuable than how pretty the book was. Sometimes in fact those notes were more interesting, and in several cases rather longer, than the stories they were about – though I didn’t always agree with some of his comments. Probably not something that matters to a lot of readers, but if you’re interested in the provenance of the fairy tales it’s definitely worth checking out whether the edition you pick up contains these end-notes or not. Now, onto the stories. As with most fairytale collections they’re a very mixed bag. A lot I had heard before, some I hadn’t and many many echoed very similar tales I had heard from other European traditions. Some are magical, some are mundane, some are funy, some are sad, some are preachy, and some are just plain weird. Most I liked, some I didn’t, but almost all of them were interesting in some way or another. One thing I will say though – these Celtic fairy tales are less likely to have happy endings than the ones most of us are used to and more likely to end with a nice bit of polyamory (though Jacobs’ very obviously changes at least one ending to avoid this – which I did not appreciate). Also many of the names are damn near unpronounceable. And there’s not really that much more to say. Taken out of the historical context of the 19th century fairytale revival and Jacobs’ role in that, it’s just a nice little book of slightly unusual fairytales – and not always told in the most accessible way. What really makes it special, apart from the detailed notes on each tale is the illustrations. John D. Batten’s work is absolutely beautiful, utilising a variety different styles to match the tone of each story – so the tragic episodes taken from Irish mythology are given lovely almost Art-Nouveau plates while the sillier more humourous stories have simple more cartoonish illustrations. The Story of Deidre Hudden and Dudden My copy of this book isn’t a particularly good or quality printing, being just slightly more advanced than a bound photocopy of the two original publications (I hate that the page numbering restarts at 1 when you reach More Celtic Fairy Tales). But I can imagine an edition with the annoying format niggles ironed out and maybe a fancy hardcover, would make an absolutely beautiful addition to any library of fairy tales.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I simply love reading these old collections of "fairy tales," especially Celtic ones. About the time of this publication (1892) there was a most interesting effort by many literary authorities to collect original fairy tales handed down by word of mouth in the British Isles, especially in the rural areas and in the original Irish, Gaedlig or Welsh, before they were entirely lost. How I am grateful to them! Jacobs Celtic Fairy Tales (1892) is one of those delightful collections which attempt to re I simply love reading these old collections of "fairy tales," especially Celtic ones. About the time of this publication (1892) there was a most interesting effort by many literary authorities to collect original fairy tales handed down by word of mouth in the British Isles, especially in the rural areas and in the original Irish, Gaedlig or Welsh, before they were entirely lost. How I am grateful to them! Jacobs Celtic Fairy Tales (1892) is one of those delightful collections which attempt to retain at least some of the original authenticity of the Irish peasantry who handed down the tradition for so many generations. Especially endearing are the awesome and delightful illustrations by David Battes, whose meticulous style seems to have been completely lost to today's generation of book illustrators. A highly recommended addition to anyone's collection of fairy tales.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha

    So this is a strange complaint BUT While I liked the stories chosen for the collection, there was something off-putting about the way the book was set up. this edition has a strange page format and font that hurt to read a bit. That silly complaint aside, it was a well-chosen set of tales and I was really thrilled with the content (if not the look) of the book. ---edit Ok. I'm a doofus. After noticing the original publish date was in the 1800s I think I know why the format seemed off. Oops So this is a strange complaint BUT While I liked the stories chosen for the collection, there was something off-putting about the way the book was set up. this edition has a strange page format and font that hurt to read a bit. That silly complaint aside, it was a well-chosen set of tales and I was really thrilled with the content (if not the look) of the book. ---edit Ok. I'm a doofus. After noticing the original publish date was in the 1800s I think I know why the format seemed off. Oops

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    I can understand the importance of fairy tales and it's a Good Thing that they were collected and preserved. That doesn't make them always a Good Read, though. This is a mixed collection - some stories flow well while others are incomprehensibly complex. This maybe reflects the late nineteenth century atmosphere in which they were recorded. Time methinks for someone to revisit the original sources and revive these in a less turgid manner. I can understand the importance of fairy tales and it's a Good Thing that they were collected and preserved. That doesn't make them always a Good Read, though. This is a mixed collection - some stories flow well while others are incomprehensibly complex. This maybe reflects the late nineteenth century atmosphere in which they were recorded. Time methinks for someone to revisit the original sources and revive these in a less turgid manner.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carina

    I must have got this book about 12 years ago from a friend - she had been given it as a gift but was not a fan of fairy tales - I was and so this book came to me. There are perhaps 8 stories in here that I really enjoy, a few others that are enjoyable the rest.. not really a fan of. Overall though this is an enjoyable read even if it is perhaps a bit of a slog to read in one massive go.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hanna Gilman

    Because it's an older collection of stories, it's goin to be difficult to read and parts of it confusing with characters popping up randomly with little explanation and old English slang. Like any other fairy tale of it's time, you can't get away with characters dropping like flies. Still enjoyable though but I recommend taking some time to mull each story before continuing. Because it's an older collection of stories, it's goin to be difficult to read and parts of it confusing with characters popping up randomly with little explanation and old English slang. Like any other fairy tale of it's time, you can't get away with characters dropping like flies. Still enjoyable though but I recommend taking some time to mull each story before continuing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Raphaëlle

    I bought this book in English without realizing that the language would be an old kind of English and at some point I was kind of lost but I eventually got used to it. Besides this little problem I loved those tales a lot, I loved the vibes and some tales made me laugh because they were so weird but that's also part of why I enjoyed it ! I bought this book in English without realizing that the language would be an old kind of English and at some point I was kind of lost but I eventually got used to it. Besides this little problem I loved those tales a lot, I loved the vibes and some tales made me laugh because they were so weird but that's also part of why I enjoyed it !

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aredhel

    I like reading fairy tales, first of all, because my inner child can't live without wonders and miracles and, second of all, because through these tales the essence of different cultures is transferred. I like reading fairy tales, first of all, because my inner child can't live without wonders and miracles and, second of all, because through these tales the essence of different cultures is transferred.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    Nice collection of mostly Irish fairy tales.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This classic collection of Celtic faerie tales by Joseph Jacobs is enjoyable, yet fairly uneven. I think what stands out is the great variety and antiquity of many of these tales. Some are so old and have so many parallels in the Indian or African folk imagination, that only the roughest estimate can be given on how they came to Celtic lands or what the tales originally meant. The most ancient of Celtic tales in this collection have fascinating origins, and yet many of them as they exist (or rat This classic collection of Celtic faerie tales by Joseph Jacobs is enjoyable, yet fairly uneven. I think what stands out is the great variety and antiquity of many of these tales. Some are so old and have so many parallels in the Indian or African folk imagination, that only the roughest estimate can be given on how they came to Celtic lands or what the tales originally meant. The most ancient of Celtic tales in this collection have fascinating origins, and yet many of them as they exist (or rather, existed during Victorian times) are puzzling and even disjointed. However, they are still incredibly bizarre, surprising, and worth reading. Some reviewers will point out the "shocking" or "terrible" violence in such faerie tales, rendering them, according to such critics, as unfit for children or, indeed, any modern reader. Such reviewers don't understand the point of these tales, which were told both to entertain and warn. I wouldn't go so far to say that these old Celtic tales have a "didactic" purpose; they certainly don't teach the reader how to perform a task or remember facts. Yet, they almost always have some moral to reveal, even if that's as simple as, "Don't lie," or, "Always be brave." In our topsy-turvy world today, integrity and bravery are becoming rarer, and the very concept of "truth" is one that the world has passed by. Faerie tales, which seek to tell some kind of truth and also to pass on some possibility for magic, are today, in 2018, far away from us with our post-truth opinions and our Godless materialism. Where have the faeries gone? I am sure they are somewhere.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    As far as I can tell, this is a decent overview of Celtic myth/legends, though hardly comprehensive. I do have some reservations in recommending this. As the person compiling this is English & is gearing this towards the English reader, it comes with some bastardizations of Irish words (this created the biggest problem for me when trying to figure out what the author was aiming for: they were so misspelled from the original Irish, simply googling them came up with nothing), and some liberties ta As far as I can tell, this is a decent overview of Celtic myth/legends, though hardly comprehensive. I do have some reservations in recommending this. As the person compiling this is English & is gearing this towards the English reader, it comes with some bastardizations of Irish words (this created the biggest problem for me when trying to figure out what the author was aiming for: they were so misspelled from the original Irish, simply googling them came up with nothing), and some liberties taken with some of the stories themselves. I found some of the language odd/clunky & the stories vary a great deal in quality. Overall, despite the faults, this was an entertaining read & if you're fascinated by Irish culture or lore, this is a good way to dip your toe into the water. It was kind of fun seeing the parallels with Greek myth & the stories of the Brothers Grimm (there's a couple of Cinderella stories in here, & at least 1 Snow White)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Meyers

    I absolutely love fairy tales and I'm happy say that I wasn't familiar with any of the ones included in this collection. Some of my favorites were Hudden and Dudden and Donald O'Neary, The Sea Maiden and The Battle of the Birds. They were all enjoyable though. I also listened to the audiobook version from Librivox and while some of the mic quality was weak, I did like the fact that they got volunteers with irish accents to read the majority of the stories, added to the authenticity a bit. I hope t I absolutely love fairy tales and I'm happy say that I wasn't familiar with any of the ones included in this collection. Some of my favorites were Hudden and Dudden and Donald O'Neary, The Sea Maiden and The Battle of the Birds. They were all enjoyable though. I also listened to the audiobook version from Librivox and while some of the mic quality was weak, I did like the fact that they got volunteers with irish accents to read the majority of the stories, added to the authenticity a bit. I hope to read\listen to the second book soon.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Two volumes of Celtic fairy tales compiled by Joseph Jacobs in the 1890s, together with notes on their sources and parallels from other mythologies. These are OK versions, but I have an issue with his decision to simplify the language so that they were suitable reading for children. This makes an assumption about the nature of the stories and their target audience that simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jadie

    Nothing too extraordinary about these tales in my humble and likely ignorant opinion. The best part of reading this was reading the notes for each folk tale in the reference section of the book. Jacobs elaborates on some tales in a candid and reasonably readable way.

  20. 5 out of 5

    sohrab sitaram

    There is so much that one could do but for starters its in the original language but not gripping enough and its not interesting to read. Its very difficult to understand the language. Its a great book to own but not a great book to read

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marko Vasić

    Very cute pocket hardback-with-dust-jacket edition and good collection of stories. Engravings are also re-printed in excellent condition from genuine 1st edition, printed in 19th century.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Evans

    Helpful notes in the back.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maura

    Lots of stories I hadn't heard of before, and some stories that were familiar but in a different form. I actually quite liked the voice, thought it took some getting used to. Lots of stories I hadn't heard of before, and some stories that were familiar but in a different form. I actually quite liked the voice, thought it took some getting used to.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joel Hoyt

    Pretty interesting collection. It feels kind of familiar, like it's got some overlap with more familiar fairy tales, but they're different enough to be very interesting. Pretty interesting collection. It feels kind of familiar, like it's got some overlap with more familiar fairy tales, but they're different enough to be very interesting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Velvetea

    I remember my thrill after finding this in an old bookshop in Albuquerque, me, loving all things Irish, and then my surprise with how violent their stories for children are <3.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    Enjoyed I did enjoy this book, it was interesting to see the similarities of the Celtic fairy tales to the English fairy tales. It is also very well written.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deacon Tom F

    Just okay. Lots of obscure tales.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gurjeet

    Interesting collection of tales. My favourite was "Jack and his master". "Fair, Brown and Trembling is very similiar to Cindrella. Interesting collection of tales. My favourite was "Jack and his master". "Fair, Brown and Trembling is very similiar to Cindrella.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lothe

    So interesting and oftentimes pleasant!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

    Some new tales but a few I've read before. Some new tales but a few I've read before.

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