Joseph Jacobs – Father of Fairy Tales

Stories about fairies are probably in every culture but with regard to fairies in British folklore, many would be happy to thank Joseph Jacobs. In England, he is called the “Father of Fairy Tales”.

Have you always been fascinated by legends, myths and folklore – giants, ogres, and fairies (faeries)? Especially, fairy tales?  To me, they reflect the wonder of a human’s uninhibited imagination. There is no reason to restrict the flow of creativity. Why not let your mind wander and explore “worlds” that you would probably never get to visit otherwise?

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 “Fay” is the archaic English word for faeries (fairies); and it means “enchanted” or “bewitched”. Fairies are very popular imaginary creatures, particularly in British folklore. Interesting that just like they were supposedly good witches and bad witches, apparently some fairies or faeries were thought to be mischievous and malicious, while others possessed more noble characteristics and helped the human race.

In England, Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916), is considered the “father of fairy tales”. He is credited with collecting them and then presenting versions of these stories in a form suitable for reading to young children. His diligent preservation efforts helped transform these traditional tales into timeless children’s classics.


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