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English Fairy Tales

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,521 ratings  ·  60 reviews
This book contains over forty of the best-loved fairy stories, beautifully illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Favourites such as Jack the Giant-killer, Jack and the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington, The Three Little Pigs and The Babes in the Wood are all here among many others, but stories from different traditions also make their appearance, including The Three Bears and Little Re
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 5th 1994 by Wordsworth Editions Ltd (first published 1890)
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Tiffany Fairy tales were never meant for children. Originally, these tales were meant for adults to enjoy. However, this book does seem like it contains…moreFairy tales were never meant for children. Originally, these tales were meant for adults to enjoy. However, this book does seem like it contains children's favourites such as The Three Little Pigs.(less)

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3.92  · 
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 ·  1,521 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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when i was a little girl, and would stay over at my grandmother's house, i would always need a stack of books to entertain me. i would bring my own, of course, and when i ran out of those, as i invariably would, she would take me to her local library, which was always a treat. a new library! different books! but i would of course run through those pretty quickly, damn you rental limits!!

so i would be forced to head to her bookshelves. and so i read a lot of v.c. andrews at an impressionable age.
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Video review:

I got this audiobook for free from Audible and unlike others that I have received for free, the quality of the audio on this one was exceptionally good.

This audiobook contains many short English Fairy Tales, many I have heard before, but many more that I have not. Of the ones I had heard of you can expect stories such as The Three Little Pigs and Jack and the Bean Stalk. I really enjoyed listening to stories that took me back to my childhood
ajaleyah taylor
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
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
Costanza Kuke
Oct 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't really know how I thought I could enjoy fairy tales. I knew most of them, and had never enjoy them, not even as a kid. too many women havin to fulfill men's desires or their head would be cut off. too many marriages without even knowing each other. I don't care when are they from. I just don't enjoy this kind of stories.
John Shelley
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have the larger formatted deluxe first edition, signed by Rackham and released in 1918. However the Trade edition is also a reassuringly large format, a much more satisfactory size than the war economy production Allies Fairybook of 1916.

This book, together with other nationalistic titles illustrated by Rackham during the First World War was intended as a patriotic challenge to the Germanic Grimm tradition, however we're spared any jingoistic introduction, and it gets straight into the collec
Thom Swennes
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Dione Basseri
Eh...I'm not so much a fan of this collection. While Jacobs does write fairly well, I felt like I was hearing a few stories over again. In particular, I'm certain there were at least three stories of giants with some variant on the "grind your bones to make my bread" speech. There's also the complication of many of these fairy tales just being adaptations from Andersen and Grimm, so they don't feel particularly English. I'd say, if you were spending money (and really, do not, Grimm, Andersen, an ...more
Feb 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
I don’t think this book is fit for children.., it’s not that sugary kind of fairy tales it’s more brutal i guess.. . Lot of repetition.., kind of boring for me...., many stories tell about : the beautiful lady will marry the handsome prince, the beautiful lady always have a nice attitude and then she’ll having an adventure and so in the end she’ll having a sack of gold but vice versa, the handsome young man will marry the beautiful lady, or will slay the dragon or giant and also marry the beauti ...more
Ahmed Hichem
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was a fun read, to see different stories from different periods and a mixture between prose and poetry. And also what i liked about this book is the moral lessons that these stories give.
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Creepy yet wonderful!
Saint  George
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
really so amazing collection by the best Joseph Jacobs
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I really do wonder if the more recent editions (I have an original 1994 copy) have been "cleaned up"
As suggested they would be great stories to read out loud, but definitely check them first so you can edit for your audience! There are morals to most of the tales but generally the rules are: Boys - be bold and be prepared to kill everything. Girls - be born beautiful or you're never going to have a happy ending to your story.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cheater! I'm not completely finished with this book but I'm going to finish the last few stories when I'm away and I won't be able to add it to my goodreads. I want to have my goodreads complete before the year ends. I love my children's classics, this book was great.
Perry Whitford
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remember this?

"Little pig! Little pig! Let me in! Let me in!"
"No! No! No! by the hair of my chinny chin chin!"
"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in."

And this?

"Oh, Grandmamma, Grandmamma, what big ears you've got!"
"All the better to hear with, my dear."
"But, Grandmamma, Grandmamma, what big eyes you've got!"
"All the better to see you with, my dear!"
"Oh, Grandmamma, Grandmamma, what big teeth you've got!"
"All the better to eat you with, my dear!"

Of course you do! Especially if,
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that I was familiar with most of the traditional English fairy tales, but this book is filled with some decidedly weird ones! The ones which are well known are easily identifiable as those where the hero is a valiant example of mankind, the princess is a typically lovely damsel, or the humour doesn't stray too far to the macabre, but I'm glad that Steel included some of the stranger tales in this volume. Just like other fairytales, they tell us how humanity lives, the things we fear, a ...more
Sep 23, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016-reads
I loved the story of the Cinder Maid. It was interesting how different it was from the ways I have heard it before and I thought how interesting it is how much fairy tales change person to person and from time to time. I highly recommend it!
Douglas Cootey
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, folklore
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
Derek Davis
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Plainsboro Public Library
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews-for-kids
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
✨Jinglemarco✨  Маркуша - Мишутка (Nursery rhymes enthusiast)*
While I really like fairy tales from all over the world and some of my favourites are English (among them The three bears and Jack and the beanstalk ), this collection by Flora Annie Steel is really crude and creepy!
Rebecca Ann
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Nov 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crooked-books
'English Fairy Tales'
Rating: 4 stars

This was a largely enjoyable collection of ye olde tales where were difficult to come by as a futuristic dystopian novel. Sometimes the protagonist is likable (Jack and his golden snuff-box) and not likable (Jack and his ass, table, and stick). So many, many Jacks to choose from so long ago.

The antagonists fall into the unfair, ambitious, and greedy variety. Disfigured outside and inside, etc. Heroism and villainy being skin deep, much like the characters moti
out of the 41 fairytales I have only liked 18. so I sort of set my expectations high when I 've started this book,the fact that I struggled to finish it speaks volumes about my displeasure with this book.
the fairytales felt more like rinse and repeat routine they were slightly altered copies of one a way I guess.
still here is a list of the fairytales I really liked in no particular order :
- the story of the three bears
- tom tit tot
- the golden snuff box
- tattercoats
- the three feat
David Turner
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd314
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.
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.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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!
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Flora Annie Steel (2 April 1847 – 12 April 1929) was an English writer. She was the daughter of George Webster. In 1867 she married Henry William Steel, a member of the Indian civil service, and for the next twenty-two years lived in India, chiefly in the Punjab, with which most of her books are connected.
When her husband's health was weak, Flora Annie Steel looked after some of his responsibiliti
“Be bold, be bold, but not too bold,
Lest that your heart's blood should run cold.”
“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
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