Joseph Jacobs

Indian Fairy Tales

A collection of fairy tales that exhibits India’s rich folk tale tradition.

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Although many readers might associate the term “fairy tales” with the Germanic or Celtic folk tale tradition—like in the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm—countries like India have their own rich history of fairy tales. Many of these tales, infused with a local flavor, bear a striking structural and thematic similarity to those with which Western readers are accustomed: moral allegories, talking animals, gambling incidents, and the like. Joseph Jacobs has carefully selected 29 fairy tales from the Jatakas, the Fables of Bidpai, the Tales of the Sun, the Baluchi Folktales, the Folktales of Kashmir, and other Sanskrit sources. These stories are a humorous and imaginative showcase of India’s rich fairy tale tradition.

Joseph Jacobs was an Australian folklorist who devoted most of his career to collecting fairy tales from around the world. His collections on English fairy tales have immortalized stories such as “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “The Three Little Pigs,” “Jack the Giant Killer” and “The History of Tom Thumb.”