Giuseppe Pitrè, a nineteenth-century Sicilian physician, gathered an enormous wealth of folk and fairy tales as he traveled and treated the poor throughout Palermo. He also received tales from friends and scholars throughout the island of Sicily. A dedicated folklorist, whose significance ranks alongside the Brothers Grimm, he published a 25-volume collection of Sicilian folk tales, legends, songs, and customs between 1871 and 1914. Though first published in their original Sicilian dialect, these tales have never before been translated, collected, and published in English until now.
This historic two-volume set collects 300 and 100 variants of his most entertaining and most important folk and fairy tales, along with lively, vivid illustrations by Carmelo Lettere. In stark contrast to the more literary ambitions of the Grimms' tales, Pitré’s possess a charming, earthy quality that reflect the customs, beliefs, and superstitions of the common people more clearly than any other European folklore collection of the nineteenth century.
Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by world-renowned folk and fairy tale experts Jack Zipes and Joseph Russo, this collection will firmly establish Pitrè’s importance as a folklorist.