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«In the spring of 1829, the author of this work, whom curiosity had brought into Spain, made a rambling expedition from Seville to Granada in company with a friend, a member of the Russian Embassy at Madrid.
Accident had thrown us together from distant regions of the globe, and a similarity of taste led us to wander together among the romantic mountains of Andalusia...» Tales of the Alhambra is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories by Washington Irving. Shortly after completing a biography of Christopher Columbus in 1828, Washington Irving traveled from Madrid, where he had been staying, to Granada, Spain. At first sight, he described it as "a most picturesque and beautiful city, situated in one of the loveliest landscapes that I have ever seen." Irving was preparing a book called A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada, a history of the years 1478-1492, and was continuing his research on the topic. He immediately asked the then-governor of the historic Alhambra Palace as well as the archbishop of Granada for access to the palace, which was granted because of Irving's celebrity status.
«In Seville, in the very portico of Santa Inés, and while, on Christmas Eve, I was waiting for the Midnight Mass to begin, I heard this tradition from a lay-sister of the convent.
As was natural, after hearing it, I waited impatiently for the ceremony to commence, eager to be present at a miracle...» The Legends are a variety of romantic tales. As the name implies, most have a legendary tone. Some depict supernatural and semi-religious (Christian) events, like The mount of the souls, The green eyes, The rose of the Passion (a blood libel) with references to the Holy Child of La Guardia and The miserere (a religious song). Others cover more or less normal events from a romantic view, like The moonlight ray and Three dates.
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, (1836-1870) was a Spanish post-romanticist poet and writer (mostly short stories), also a playwright, literary columnist, and talented in drawing. Today he is considered one of the most important figures in Spanish literature.
- 27 Mai 2016
«In old times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face...» Household Tales is a collection of German fairy tales first published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm.
The work of the Brothers Grimm influenced other collectors, both inspiring them to collect tales and leading them to similarly believe, in a spirit of romantic nationalism, that the fairy tales of a country were particularly representative of it, to the neglect of cross-cultural influence.
The first volumes were much criticized because, although they were called "Children's Tales", they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter.
«Once upon a time there were three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little Wee Bear, and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great Big Bear...» Flora Annie Steel was interested in relating to all classes of Indian society. The birth of her daughter gave her a chance to interact with local women and learn their language. She encouraged the production of local handicrafts and collected folk-tales, a collection of which she published in 1894.
Her interest in schools and the education of women gave her a special insight into native life and character. A year before leaving India, she coauthored and published The Complete Indian Housekeeper, giving detailed directions to European women on all aspects of household management in India.
This book contains over fourty of the best-loved fairy stories, retold by Flora Annie Steel.
«Connla of the Fiery Hair was son of Conn of the Hundred Fights. One day as he stood by the side of his father on the height of Usna, he saw a maiden clad in strange attire coming towards him...» Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916) was an Australian folklorist, literary critic, historian and writer of English literature who became a notable collector and publisher of English Folklore.
From 1899-1900 he edited the journal Folklore, and from 1890 to 1916 he edited multiple collections of fairy tales: English Fairy Tales (1890), Celtic Fairy Tales (1892 anthology), More Celtic Fairy Tales (1894), More English Fairy Tales (1894). He was inspired in this by the Brothers Grimm and the romantic nationalism common in folklorists of his age.
It includes the famous stories Conal Hammerclaw, The Story of Deirdre, Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree, The Wooing of Olwen, Jack and His Comrades, The Sea Maiden, Fairm Brown and Trembling, The Battle of the Birds, Brewery of Eggshells and many others.