Cossack Fairy Tales (1916)

Fairy tales and folk tales originally published in 1894 and translated from a dialect spoken in the area known to us today as western Ukraine. The translator Robert Nisbet Bain (1854-1909) was a British historian and linguist who apart from his translations also wrote works on folklore and history. The tales found in this volume are a selection of three different collections which Bain presents in the preface and include familiar characters and fairy tale tropes, such as a tale of a mysterious sack which grants food, a ram which gives gold, and a drum that summons henchmen who give people a good beating. This last tale can also be found in a version called "The Wishing-Table, the Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack" by the brothers Grimm. In "The Story of little Tsar Novishny, the False sister, and the Faitful Beasts" and "The Vampire and St. Michael", the act of not crossing oneself before drinking or bathing in a stream or river leads to being possessed by the Devil, something we should all keep in mind. This edition from 1916 is adorned with beautiful illustrations from Scottish artist Noel Laura Nisbet. Bain's book on Russian fairy tales, also illustrated by Nisbet, can be found here.

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