Story Sources

Interested in the original sources for the fairy tales, myths, and other stories I discuss in the blog? Check them out below!

Skye Alexander.  Mermaids: the Myths, Legends, and Lore.  New York: Adams Media, 2012.

This is a compilation of various mermaid tales.  Some of the facts are bit “off” – for example, she says the Little Mermaid’s name is Marina (p. 112), a name Anderson never mentions.  She also tells an obscure story of Undine (or Ondine, as she writes it, p. 19).  However, it is on the whole a fun, succinct overview of mermaids lore and legends.  

Giambattista Basile, translated by Nancy L. Canepa. The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2007.

This compilation of stories from Italy is a direct ancestor of tales such as “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” and “Rapunzel.”  It is also known by the name Pentamerone, and originally published in the 1630s.

Translated by Nigel Bryant. Perceforest: The Prehistory of King Arthur’s Britain. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2011.

As its title proclaims, this work falls under the Arthurian romances.  It was compiled in the mid-1300s, and contains one of the earliest versions of what we now know as “Sleeping Beauty.”  The book is mammoth, but excerpts (including the complete “Sleeping Beauty” tale) can be found in A Perceforest Reader, also translated by Nigel Bryant.

Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, edited by Lily Owens.  The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. New York, NY: Chatham River Press, 1981.

Everyone knows the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, originally published in the early 1800s.  They are the stories we are most familiar with. 

Heidi Anne Heiner. Mermaid and Other Water Spirit Tales from Around the World. Nashville, TN: SurLaLune Press, 2011.

This is a compilation of various mermaid, selkie, nix, and other aquatic spirit tales.  It is one of her more massive works, as every culture has tales of water spirits.  Many of the stories were clearly passed down orally before being compiled in the 19th and 20th centuries.  It is a wonderful collection, with every major tale on mermaids and spirits, with accompanying notes!

Heidi Anne Heiner. Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales from Around the World. Nashville, TN: SurLaLune Press, 2010.

This is a compilation of various Sleeping Beauty and Snow White tales from around the world.  Most of the stories are taken from 19th century sources, so some of the more brutal details are left out of the translations in the Sleeping Beauty stories.  The Snow White tales retain their brutality, as it is inherent to the story.  It is an excellent spring board into the Sleeping Beauty tale, and the only thorough compilation of Snow White tales.

Marian Horosko. Sleeping Beauty: The Ballet Story. Atheneum, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1994.

I mainly used this source because I’m proud, and didn’t want to site Wikipedia, which has an excellent (and accurate) telling of the ballet plot.

Ovid, translated by Mary M. Innes. Metamorphoses. New York, NY: Penguin Books Ltd., 1983.

This has a variety of tales, including Myrrha (Mythos series) and Chione (Whiter than Snow series).  I have not read it in its entirety, but if you’d like a wild tale, then look no further!

Charles Perrault, translated by A. E. Johnson. Perrault’s Fairy Tales. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1969.

This translation is excellent!  Charles Perrault brought Basile’s rough tales and made cleaned them up for the French court of Louis XIV.