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Celtic Fairy Tales
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Celtic Fairy Tales

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,408 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Joseph Jacobs collected these fairy stories in the closing days of the nineteenth century. They are engaging brief episodes of fancy and fantasy from the oral tradition, which were designed to engage and fascinate the young mind. In this fast-paced, electronic world where life whizzes and fizzes by, it is a comfort and joy to pause awhile to savour such delights from a sim ...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Collector's Library (first published 1893)
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Diamond Cowboy
Jan 10, 2016 Diamond Cowboy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great collection of Celtic folk and fairy tales. I recommend this book to all. The mastery of story telling of the Celsis shown beautifully in this volume. You can find it on the web at librivox or on youtube. You can also perchace it on Kindle.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Jul 01, 2010 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
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 "
Jul 01, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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

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.

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
Sep 24, 2012 Lucy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 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.
Nicole Pramik
A nice little collection of Celtic tales that makes for a swift read. Definitely worth checking out if you enjoy fairy tales and folklore.
Jun 13, 2016 Cyndi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice collection of mostly Irish fairy tales.

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
João Batista
Jul 31, 2014 João Batista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In fact, the one I read was a Brazilian version (ISBN 8572329714) of Celtic Fairy Tales (1892) and More Celtic Fairy Tales (1894); so it was in Portuguese and I will say a little about it in this language.

-A Sereia: Mostrando as aventuras do filho do pescador até ele ser 'chamado' pela sereia;
- Shee an Gannon e Gruagach Gaire: Shee an Gannon nasceu de manhã, recebeu seu nome ao meio dia e à noite pediu a mão da filha do rei em casamento;
- O Contador de Histórias: mostra as suas desventuras, além
Dione Basseri
Mar 06, 2016 Dione Basseri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure this is the best of Jacobs's fairy tale collections, and I'm not saying that merely as a fan of Irish and Scottish folktales. Whereas Jacobs works for England and India seemed quite repetative, especially for anyone familiar with Grimm and Andersen, so many of the tales in this book are distinctly Celtic. There are a few exceptions--notably "Fair, Brown, and Trembling," which is basically Cinderella--but quite a few of these draw upon the history and legends of the Celts, and not ...more
Jul 18, 2008 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprising collection, Celtic Fairy Tales was written with the intent to interest English schoolchildren in Celtic lore -- a humbling bit of information, since I was often confused when the author threw in Gealic vocabulary and unfamiliar sentence structure, no doubt in an attempt to remain true in his translation. (For example, apparently a "hoodie" refers to some kind of crow, which can talk and cause no end of trouble in a fairy tale.) I was also fascinated to learn that the Celtic bards we ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Should any one decide to read this book from 1892 I recommend reading the notes either before or concurrently, instead of after like I did. It's interesting how many other fairy tales from across Europe and Asia are mixed in, and it was helpful to see whether they thought the story was originally from the British Celts or an import. "Fair, Brown, and Trembling" is a Cinderella story, and "Jack and His Comrades" is a variation on "The Bremen Town Musicians". I had seen "The Horned Women" done as ...more
Evan Hays
Jun 30, 2011 Evan Hays rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting and fun read. In addition to giving me lots of insight into Celtic life through the stories of the people, this book is very interesting for the notes on each story that the author provides. What you end up seeing is truly how diverse and interspersed are European (and really even Indo-European stories). Many are so old and in so many different versions, that it is impossible to tell where they started. It is quite likely though, that many Celtic ones spread east not west due ...more
Jan 29, 2015 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone; Everyone
This is a nice collection of fairy tales collected from Ireland. The illustrations are a good representation of the stories they accompany. Some of the stories have to do with fairies, others with a hero-type and the quests he must overcome. Still others have the quality of Aesop fables (short stories with a moral). The editor or collector explains that he would not have been amble to complete his goal without the work of some other people and his goal is to make these Celtic stories accessible ...more
I picked this up to read in between books or as and when I needed a quick read, so it has taken a while. I have to say overall I was not massively impressed, there were only really two tales that stood out for me. It was interesting for the point of view that not all of these stories had the fairy tale ending we have come to expect.

Fair Bron and Trembling reminded me very much of Cinderella but with a very different ending.

Beth Gellert - my hubby told me this story as he remembers visiting Beddg
Book Wormy
A collection of original celtic fairytales which contain the seeds of some well known fairytales before they were sanitised for children.

Snow white ends up living with her prince and his new wife and dont ask how the ugly sisters try to fit into Cinderellas slippers.

Alot of the stories feature giants, kings, queens, princes and princesses as you would expect along with characters of dubious morality who appear as the heroes.

The stories do tend to be a bit repetitive.

Paul Gallear
The stories are often repetitive, rambling and inconclusive; some of the dialogue contains enough Mediaeval archaisms (thy, thine, thee, thou etc) to make Edmund Spencer wince, and I'm sure libraries could be filled with essays and books upon the treatment and representation of women in this book.

But, for all that, I did quite enjoy it. Celtic Fairy Tales offers a look into a world of stories and storytelling which has all but vanished
Dec 19, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland
If you're looking for an entertaining collection of some of the more popular Celtic tales, this is good. It does leave out some I would have included and includes some I wouldn't have, but all in all it does well. Some of the tellings were a bit smarmy for my taste. I would have appreciated some academic background information before each story, like the oldest manuscript, how much is being paraphrased or edited, other similar tales, other tales with the same characters, things like that.
Aug 01, 2016 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading the complete Brothers Grimm I sort-of enjoyed these fairy tales but the translation or the text itself wasn't particularly enjoyable to read. The stories themselves were... ok, but the writing was either unclear in places or too simplistic even for a fairy tale. I think a bit of better editing would have made this a better read. (Though it was really cheap so I probably oughtn't complain)
Dec 05, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It is a collection of fairy tales unlike any that I've read before. There are some words that would be hard to understand as someone from the states but lucky they give you a translation right next to them. I think my favorite story in the collection was "The Sea Maiden."
Vaiva Sapetkaitė
Tikėjausi labai daug ir kažko kitoniško nei esu girdėjusi, bet to šioje knygoje neradau. Nors stengtasi surinkti tik vietines, tikrai airiškas, pasakas, bet, tiesą sakant, jos nuo lietuviškų ar kitų Europos šalių analogų skiriasi tik vardais ir vietovių pavadinimais. Na, tik trolius dar turėjo, tačiau, kita vertus, tuo panašu į skandinaviškas istorijas.
Magdalena Bartnik
Oct 11, 2013 Magdalena Bartnik rated it really liked it
Tą książkę czytałam właściwie zawodowo, ale lubię ją nie tylko ze względu na zróżnicowane historie pochodzące z ustnych przekazów, ale także, albo przede wszystkim, ilustracje i to, że jest świetnym punktem wyjścia do zaawansowanego odkrywania podań (i mitów) celtyckich dzięki bardzo wartościowym przypisom do "baśni".

3 stars

A beautiful, pocket sized edition of Jacobs' Celtic Fairytales with the wonderful original illustrations by John D. Batten. Unfortunately fails to include Jacobs' accademic notes on the provenence and sources for each story. But if you're not interested in that side of it and just want to read the fairy tales themselves then it is an absolutely lovely little version.
Some of the tales are entertaining and some are head scratchers. Maybe I lose something because I can only trace my Irish heritage to an 1870's stowaway to America. I still liked these fables from the "old country". 150 pages of actual stories and the rest are the author's discussion about each tale and some background history. Some of the histories are as entertaining as the fable they describe.
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.
May 26, 2011 Rhiannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
All of the tales were written really poorly (dryly) until the last three: "The Llanfabon Changeling," "Beth Gellert," and "The Sea-Maiden." I will keep looking for a better collection of Celtic fairy tales.
Jacqueline Bartelmo
This book was pretty much perfect for me since I've have always had a love for fairy tales and all things celtic. The stories in this book were at times funny and disturbing, not in a bad way though. With its adventures and silly characters almost any child would love reading this book.
Caroline Åsgård
Mar 17, 2016 Caroline Åsgård rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading Celtic fairy tales, especially when they are similar to old Norwegian fairy tales I heard and read when I was a child - which some of the stories in this book were.
I really recommend this!
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Joseph Jacobs was an Australian folklorist, literary critic, historian and writer of English literature who became a notable collector and publisher of English Folklore. His work went on to popularize some of the worlds best known versions of English fairy tales including "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Goldilocks and the three bears", "The Three Little Pigs", "Jack the Giant Killer" and "The History o ...more
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