English Fairy Tales
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English Fairy Tales

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,094 ratings  ·  41 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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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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Gave up on this
I don't want to torture myself any more
Creepy yet wonderful!
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
Sarah Dorra
I give the books four stars because it's a children's book. My interest in it, however, comes from my curiosity to learn more about English fairy tales and how different they are from ours. To my surprise, however, I found that many of the stories in the book are the same ones which grandma used to tell us when we were children, including stories which I thought were our family's alone.

Also, it's clear Joseph Jacobs did some serious effort to collect these stories and put them all in this fine b...more
A very good collection of folk tales from Britain. The author tried hard to make sure that the stories were commonly from Britain though they may have spread elsewhere or a variation came from elsewhere. Some very English folk tales? Henny Penny, Jack and the Beanstalk, there are many Jack tales, and The Three Bears. Most have humourous endings and seem to be stories to amuse everyone. Jacobs, the author said he used fairy tales in the title because no kid ever asks for a folk tale.
Hannah Woods
I read the fairy tale called "The Three Sillies" in this book. It made me laugh! A gentleman meets a farmer's daughter who he wants to marry, but finds the daughter, mother and father to be totally silly. So, he goes on a journey to find three people even more silly than they, and if he can, he will come back to marry the farmer's daughter. He manages to find three people way more silly than the family, so he returns to marry the daughter.
Really funny and classic my favorite is chapter when the daughter was crying because it was a mallet in the roof and she pondered if she got married to the gardner and they had a child and he went down to the seller to draw beer and the mallet hit him then she became to cry. i also like the one when with nimmy nimmy nim my name is tip top tim!
I'm not sure if this is the actual edition of English Fairy Tales that I just read, because mine was a free Kindle version without the author's name. Classical fairy tales are horrifying. If you like reading about rape, murder, thievery, and treacheries of all sorts, then these are the stories for you.
Lesley Anne
These stories are macabre at their core, and it just makes them so much fun! It's mind-blowing to think that at, one time, we used stories like these to promote morality into our children's lives... by scaring them shitless!! Now, we coddle our delicate little flowers. Different times, for sure.
Brennan Kumitch
Read it to see where some English ideals differ and are the same as English society today and my Canadian society today. Also read it to find some of the old classics I heard as a kid. This book is defiantly intended for the youth and ppl who want to remember their youth.
Natalie Unger
Not for the fainted heart of children. Pretty gruesome, but some tales that you don't generally get to hear of. This was my mom's college book for a literature class. My favorite tales were "Cap o' Rushes" and "The Three Heads of the Well." Know that I'm a sucker for the genre.
One of the best colections that ever dropped into my hands. Inspired stories told by a very skilled narrator, with lots of adult implicit irony, as the characters are often mocked as the plot goes by. Wisdom for adults, amusement for children. Lots of fun indeed!
I hink this collection was wonderful, but there were a couple of the more gory stories in it so I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers. The great thing about this book is that it hadome tales in it that I had never read before, plus some classics.
I was required to read this book for my Children's Lit University class. I found it a quick read with some enjoyable stories from my childhood. It was interesting how so many of the stories have similarities to each other!
Many of the tales I already knew but there were many that I didn't know. The ones that I knew were often slightly different to the versions that I know. I read this book in-between reading other books.
Oct 24, 2011 Amy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Amblesideonline
Shelves: 2011, homeschool
We did not read every tale in this read aloud book. I recommend reading them first as they are not all fluffy, easy tales. My oldest really enjoyed the stories much more then I did.
A collection of fairy tales. Some tales I really enjoyed, while others I found dull.

The flow of the stories made it hard to get lost in the tales.
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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
“Little pig, little pig, let me come in." To which the pig answered: "No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin." The wolf then answered to that: "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in." So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the little pig.” 0 likes
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