The Violet Fairy Book

The Violet Fairy Book

The Violet Fairy Book

The Violet Fairy Book

Excerpt

The editor takes this opportunity to repeat what he has often said before, that he is not the author of the stories in the Fairy Books; that he did not invent them 'out of his own head.' He is accustomed to being asked, 'Have you written anything else except the Fairy Books?' He is then obliged to explain that he has not written the Fairy Books but, save these, has written almost everything else, except hymns, sermons and dramatic works.

The stories in this Violet Fairy Book, as in all the others of the series, have been translated out of the popular traditional tales in a number of different languages. These stories are as old as anything that men have invented. They are narrated by naked savage women to naked savage children. They have been inherited by our earliest civilized ancestors, who really believed that beasts and trees and stones can talk if they choose and behave kindly or unkindly. The stories are full of the oldest ideas of ages when science did not exist, and magic took the place of science.

Anybody who has the curiosity to read the Legendary Australian Tales, which Mrs. Langloh Parker has collected from the lips of the Australian savages, will find that these tales are closely akin to our own. Who were the first authors of them nobody knows -- probably the first men and women. Eve may have told these tales to amuse Cain and Abel. As people grew more civilized and had kings and queens, princes and princesses, these exalted persons generally were chosen as heroes and heroines. But originally the characters were just 'a man' and 'a woman' and 'a boy' and 'a girl,' with crowds of beasts, birds and fishes, all behaving like human beings.

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