Embodying the fears, fantasies, and forebodings of the people who lived in northern Europe when the world was a darker and more frightening place, these 42 authentic folktales were culled from the rich legacy of Norse and German mythology by noted folklorist George Webbe Dasent. They include stories of princes and princesses who have been transformed into animals, trolls, and maneating giants who possess magical powers, and good-hearted, clever young men and women, often poor and ridiculed, who eventually come away with wealth and love beyond measure.
In addition to such well-known favorites as "Dapplegrim," "Katie Woodencloak," "Tatterhood," and "Legend of Tannhäuser," this collection also brings to light many gems difficult to find elsewhere. In "The Werewolf," a cruel stepmother thwarts a beautiful princess's marriage plans by transforming her fiancé into a hunted denizen of the forest. The hilarious "Such Women Are" proves the world is never without a sufficiency of fools, while "The Three Dogs" tells of a youth whose four-legged friends defeat a serpent with the nasty habit of devouring a town's young women. Among many other hard-to-find stories are "King Gram," "The Magician's Pupil," "The Outlaw," "Temptations," "The Widow's Son," "The Three Sisters Trapped in a Mountain," and "The Goatherd" (the inspiration for Washington Irving’s story of Rip van Winkle).
These stories preserve the ancient myths of Western Europe that have been passed down from generation to generation, but aside from their importance as seminal folktales, they are simply good reading — full of passion and excitement, magic, mystery, and sheer storytelling power. Popular Tales from Norse Mythology will delight any student or admirer of myths and mythology.
Reprint of A Collection of Popular Tales from the Norse and North German, George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., London, 1907.
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