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English Fairy Tales
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English Fairy Tales

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,819 ratings  ·  71 reviews
These 43 stories bygreat turn-of-the-century folklorist with a gift for fine narration include "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Nix Nought Nothing," "Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse," "How Jack Went to Seek His Fortune," "The Story of the Three Little Pigs," and many more. 65 illustrations. ...more
Paperback, 261 pages
Published June 1st 1967 by Dover Publications (first published 1890)
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I was asked the other day if I knew what the Giant says in Jack and the Beanstalk.

Of course I do. As we say in Australia:

Fe Fi Fo Fastard
I smell the blood of a pommie bastard.
Jacobs mentions at the beginning that the tales in this book should be read out loud but I think parents should probably read the tales before they go and blab it to their kids. Not to say that their are a whole bunch of brutal killings but its not all sunshine and daisies all the time neither. I know that fairy tales are really not as sugary sweet as they are in Disney or any of the retellings that I love.

There is a repetivness to the tales. There were more Giants than I expected and can recal
ajaleyah taylor
i decided to read this book because it it was one of the categories on the bingo bord that i was struggling it fill. l also enjoyed rereading the story that i was read as a little kid.

the category this book fits into is 3 poems or short storys from 1 anthology. l liked this category because that story where so short compared to the book i have boon reading lately.

i decided to read the following three books: the old woman and her pig, Tim tit tot and how jack went to seek is fortune.

my favorite
Diana Long
Really nice collection of Folk Tales ( Fairy Tales or Scary Tales). Every culture has stories that pass down through the generations and this was an interesting read. Some of them only slightly different in the animated versions and story books I grew up with. Some have a moral to the story and many are really frightful and violent. The name of the character most often used appears to be Jack. Several have the beginning Once upon a time....and the phrase "Fe, fi, fo, fum" is used by several gian ...more
Mary Catelli
Joseph Jacobs complained in the 19th century, "What Perrault began, the Grimms completed." All the fairy tales the children knew were French or German in origin. He tried to amend it, and so we have this and More English Fairy Tales.

You will indeed recognize a few, most likely. "The Three Bears" is the first written version, with a nasty old woman instead of Goldilocks, and "Scrapefoot" is recognizably the same tale, with a fox. "Jack and the Beanstalk" is, in fact, the best known variant nowada
Thom Swennes
Some things must be viewed by young eyes and grasped by childish minds. Fairy tales fall in this category and English fairy tales in particularly. English Fairy Tales compiled by Joseph Jacobs is a beautifully illustrated book but I really can’t say that I was positively impressed with the accompanying text. The book is a collection of forty English tales, many dating from the 16th Century. Most of the tales were new to me and possibly little known generally. Jack the Giant Killer, Jack and the ...more
Hal Brodsky
The price is certainly right for this free download. A collection of Fairy tales primarily from England and Scotland and published in 1890, these simply written stories offer an insight into the mores and values of people of that time, to wit: marrying into wealth is the most important thing you can do in life, and killing people (Giants, Monsters, Freaks) who are different than you is not only OK, but hero-worthy. And Step Mothers are evil, evil, evil !
No, these should not be read aloud to you
Plainsboro Public Library
This collection of fairy tales is perfect for bedtime stories for kids. The fairy tales are original and unabridged. The stories are very interesting and many of them are humorous. I have found that it’s best when they are read out loud. There are illustrations drawn for every story- even though the drawings are in black and white, they convey much detail, and are quite beautiful. The drawings are incorporated into the text.

There are many popular stories, such as The Three Little Pigs, The Thre
Gave up on this
I don't want to torture myself any more
Creepy yet wonderful!
I got this free as an e-book, so really nothing to complain about.

It is easy reading, as you might expect from a book of fairy tales, but that should not be taken as meaning it is only for children, and of no interest to adults.

Many of the tales are familiar, at least in their structure and form, if not their absolute details. From an adult perspective, what is tantalising is what, if anything, they once meant. A few, but by no means all, are parables of virtue rewarded - those who act charitabl
Derek Davis
This late 19th century collection is utterly charming. Though Jacobs put the stories together for children (with, in some cases, fairly extensive rewriting), his chats and asides to adults are worth reading to the last word—even (and especially) the footnotes.

The tales read, for the most part, like quiet evening retellings that your favorite aunt might unroll. Despite the Victorian times when we was working, they are little toned down. He trusts kids to be able to handle the random brutality tha
Rebecca Ann
The notes in the back of this book explain why these versions of fairytales are not well known. "The superior elegance and clearness of the French tales replaced the rude vigour of the English ones." After reading these, I can see why most people preferred the French versions. The English stories have less atmosphere, unclear motives, unsatisfying conclusions, gritty and violent descriptions, and more adult themes. They come closer to real life and are missing the magical element I most enjoy in ...more
Douglas Cootey
There were many wonderful fairy tales included in Jacobs' collection (which is actually two books compiled as one), but my reading spurts would be stopped cold by the occasional klunker. In the end, however, I enjoyed the book, most especially because of the footnotes from the author at the end of the book. Sometimes he'd admit he had no idea what particular expressions meant, including them in 1890 for their flavor. Sometimes he'd admit a story was an amalgamation of different stories taken fro ...more
I love fairy tales, I really do, but there were just some in this collection that left a serious o_O look on my face. While some of the tales in this book were quite interesting, there were others that were pretty dreary and difficult to get through. Some of the tales are very similar stories to other fairy tales that you're probably familiar with, but I think that overlapping occurred a lot back in the day.

A lot of these tales deal with giants, which was a bit daunting after the first story or
Beautifully written set of the most classic recognizable stories. They loose their more gory aspect, although they are more blunt. For example in the story of Tom-Tit-Tot (one of my favorite) She finds his name in a very practical way - in a conversation with her husband the king. And it's not her baby the "little black thing" is betting if she cannot find his name as in the American version. Along with a slightly different and, in my opinion, gentler view, the stories often teach good lessons a ...more
Summary: I read the entire book, 43 tales, but my favorites were Nix Naught Nothing, The Magpie’s Nest, and The Ass, the Table, and the Stick. Nix Naught Nothing was a prince whose father accidently gave him away to a monster who raised Nix Naught Nothing until he was grown. Nix fell in love with the monster’s daughter and eventually they got away, Nix was restored to his family/kingdom, and the two got married. The Magpie’s Nest was about a magpie who taught all of the birds to build nests but ...more
David Turner
I had not read or heard many of these fairy tales in a long time and I had so much fun rediscovering these funny stories. Many are the same that I remember from my childhood but there are many more that I do not ever remember reading. Further more, some of these new stories I read made me realize how inappropriate the stories can be and that is important to be sure that children are ready to read stories that are scary and involve death, cheating, and black magic.
Cute little book...I'd say a good book to read to little kids, however some of the stories are a little creepy (not Halloween-creepy, but perverted-creepy). They're not the worst stories I've read, but I prefer tales from Beetle the Bard. ;D
keith minor
Another place in time

I enjoyed the experience of these tales even though I'm an adult this book brought me back to my childhood memories of reading under a tree.
Many of these tales may seem familiar but they have very different endings and cast of characters. It is hard to determine which came first -- the continental European versions, or if some of those were takeoffs on original English versions. Mr. Jacobs is very thorough with his notes and references so don't overlook that section of the book.

These tales follow the vernacular oral tradition very closely which bring a nostalgia that is very pleasant.
Valentina Sarno
My daughter loved it, sometimes the tales are quite disturbing! Sometimes pointless. But on the whole very interesting and we read the whole thing.
Myslím, že je velmi zajímavé dozvědět se, jaké pohádky se vypráví dětem v Anglii, řekla bych, že je to dokonce součást poznávání kultury.
Repetitive stories, not very funny and sometimes pointless. Didn't like them at all.
Very random, funny and interesting. Easy reading :)
Hayley Edwards
Not too bad some stories I recall but most I've never heard of
Very good book, i recommend this book to my friends
This book was nice, but some of the tales are shared with other cultures.
Jim Erekson
This is one of the best collections. Jacobs combed the folklore collections for this set of tales. Strong and memorable tellings of old favorites, in ways you won't remember hearing as from the picturebooks. Three Pigs, Three Bears, Johnny Cake (aka Gingerbread Boy), Tom Tit Tot (Rumpelstiltskin). Then a lot more not in the popular set, but still riveting: Three Heads of the Well, Childe Rowland, Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh. My favorite in the bunch for telling is Molly Whuppie! A strong gi ...more
I read this as part of a children's lit class. I didn't like them as much as I liked the Tales of Grimm.
The Rose Tree - I didn't like - evil stepmother kills daughter then daughter comes back and leaves her father & brother gifts.
The Three Heads of the Well - in search of a new life a king’s daughter realizes that kindness really does pay off.
Princess of Canterbury - the test of staying awake for a fair maidens hand is placed before a shepherd.
Molly Whuppie - A very smart girl outwits a gian
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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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“So Molly took the ring to the king, and she was married to his youngest son, and she never saw the giant again.” 0 likes
“Then the ogre fell down and broke his crown, and the beanstalk came toppling after.” 0 likes
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