fairy tales

Here be dragons

Dragons have played the role of bad guy in many a Western folk story or legend. They’ve been part of our literature and folklore as far back as we can remember (there’s one in Beowulf), and are still pervasive in our culture today. You probably heard the story about St George slaying a dragon. But […]

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Once upon a time in Europeana… Finding fairytales in our collections

How old were you before a cracked mirror no longer filled you with dread? And a forest no longer conjured up thoughts of witches and wolves? Even if we haven’t read them for many years, fairytales enter our psyche in a very special way. Tomorrow, it will be 312 years since the death of Charles […]

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Charles Perrault’s fairy tales

Charles Perrault is a name that is familiar to the young and old all over the world.  Who doesn’t know his Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty? Perrault was born on 12 January 1628 to a wealthy Parisian family. After studying law, he pursued a career in government service. When the Académie des […]

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Did Columbus really see mermaids?

On 9 January 1493, Christopher Columbus observed something he had before seen on the coasts of Africa… Mermaids.  In his journal he described the encounter with three mermaids that elevated themselves above the suface of the sea. Most likely mistaking manatees, aquatic mammals also known as sea cows, for mermaids, “Columbus, disposed to give a […]

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Illustrations by Arthur Rackham

The great English book illustrator Arthur Rackham was born on 19 September 1867 in London. Rackham was a member of The Royal Watercolour Society   and the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, and Master of the Art Workers’ Guild.  His works were awarded gold medals at the Milan International Exhibition (1906) and the Barcelona International Exhibition […]

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