Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales
Publication date: December 2010
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
You save: $0.50 (20%)
This volume contains eighty five fairy tales, stories, myths, legends, literary tales and comic tales collated by Sir George Douglas and was first published in 1901. In the days long before the advent of radio and television, the arrival of a story-teller in a village was an important event. As soon as it became known, there would be a rush to the house where he was lodged, and every available seat--on bench, table, bed, beam, or the floor would quickly be appropriated. And then, for hours together--just like some first-rate actor on a stage--the story-teller would hold his audience spell-bound. In his tour through the Islands, Campbell of Isla, Sir George's authority for these stories, visited one of the old story-tellers in his home. The man was far advanced in years, and he lived in a rude hut on the shore at South Uist. Campbell describes the scene in detail. The hut consisted of one room only. The fireplace was the floor, and the chimney a hole above it, so that the air was dense with peat-smoke, whilst the rafters were hung with streamers and festoons of soot. The old man himself had the manner of a practised narrator, he would chuckle at certain places in his story, and, like an Ancient Mariner or like one of the Weird Sisters, would lay a withered finger on the listener's knee when he came to the terrifying parts. A little boy in a kilt stood at his knee, gazing in his wrinkled face, and devouring every word. And such rustic scenes as these, as this book shows, have by no means been without their marked effect upon Scottish literature. So taken was Sir George with the vernacular version of these stories he later stated "...because they have been classified, tabulated and scientifically named, they are no longer the wild free product of Nature that we knew and loved:--they are become, so to speak, a collection of butterflies in a case, an album of pressed wild flowers." Nevertheless many a night was passed gathered around the hearth listening to those well practised in the art of storytelling ensuring that these stories were passed on from generation to generation. It is somewhat ironic that since about 1900 the "old ways" began to recede and the art of storytelling was practised less and less. This book is now is one of the many digital ways in which these stories can live on. So curl up with this sliver of Scottish heritage and, when you need to, laugh at the comedy and don't be afraid to shed a tear during the tales of melancholy, but always be sure that your purchase will have benefited someone somewhere for 33% of the publisher's profit from the sale of this book is donated to charity.