Fairy Tales, Folk Stories and Ledgends

We all learn fairy tales as Children. Can you tell some fairy tales from your coutry? What English fairy tales do you know? Tell each other some stories.

The Grim Brothers

The Brothers Grimm: Jacob Grimm (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm(1786–1859). They were academics. They spent their time traveling around Germany, collecting folt tales which they then published. Among the best known are: “Cinderella“, “The Frog Prince“, “Hansel and Gretel“, “Rapunzel“, “Rumpelstiltskin“, and “Snow White“. Their first collection of folk tales, Children’s and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in 1812. The full collection contains 200 stories and has been translated into over 100 languages.

The Grimm’s book contains legends, novellas and folk stories. The vast majority of these were not intended as children’s tales. Many people have expressed concern about content of some of the tales—such as those that showed children being eaten or people tortured to death. As a result, many stories have been sanitised and endings changed to make them suitable for Children.

Hans Christian Andersen

Born inApril 2, 1805 and died, August 4, 1875, Hans Christian Andersen was the author of many fairy tales. Some of his most famous tales: The Tinderbox, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl, and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. However, nobody is really sure as to his true identity or whither he wrote the stories himself of just retold them. The modern view is that Aesop probably did not solely compose all those fables attributed to him, if he even existed at all. Aesop’s Fables is part of an oral tradition of story telling. The tales were not written down until many centuries after Aesop’s death.

Complete list of Aesop’s Fables.
  • The Ant and the Grasshopper
  • The Ass and his Masters
  • The Ass and the Pig
  • The Ass Carrying an Image
  • The Ass in the Lion’s Skin
  • The Astrologer who Fell into a Well
  • The Bird-catcher and the Blackbird
  • The Bear and the Travelers
  • The Belly and the Other Members
  • The Bird in Borrowed Feathers
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • The Cat and the Mice
  • The Cock and the Jewel
  • The Cock, the Dog and the Fox
  • The Crow and the Pitcher
  • The Crow and the Snake
  • The Deer without a Heart
  • The Dog and its Reflection
  • The Dog and the Wolf
  • The Dove and the Ant
  • The Farmer and the Stork
  • The Farmer and the Viper
  • The Fir and the Bramble
  • The Fisherman and the Little Fish
  • The Fowler and the Snake
  • The Fox and the Crow
  • The Fox and the Grapes
  • The Fox and the Mask
  • The Fox and the Sick Lion
  • The Fox and the Stork
  • The Fox and the Weasel
  • The Fox and the Woodman
  • The Frog and the Ox
  • The Frogs Who Desired a King
  • The Goat and the Vine
  • The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs
  • The Honest Woodcutter
  • The Horse and the Donkey
  • The Lion and the Fox
  • The Lion and the Mouse
  • The Lion’s Share
  • The Lion, the Bear and the Fox
  • The Man with two Mistresses
  • The Mischievous Dog
  • The Miser and his Gold
  • The Mountain in Labour
  • The Mouse and the Oyster
  • The North Wind and the Sun
  • The Oak and the Reed
  • The Old Man and Death
  • The Old Woman and the Doctor
  • The Rose and the Amaranth
  • The Satyr and the Traveller
  • The Sick Kite
  • The Snake and the Crab
  • The Snake in the Thorn Bush
  • The Tortoise and the Birds
  • The Tortoise and the Hare
  • Town Mouse and Country Mouse
  • The Travellers and the Plane Tree
  • The Trees and the Bramble
  • The Two Pots
  • Venus and the Cat
  • The Walnut Tree
  • Washing the Ethiopian white
  • The Wolf and the Crane
  • The Wolf and the Lamb
  • The Woodcutter and the Trees
  • The Young Man and the Swallow

The Four Famous Books in China

In China, there are said to be Four Famous Books:

English Name Second English Name Chinese Name
Water Margin Outlaws of the March 水浒传
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 三国演义
Journey to the West Monkey King 西游记
Dream of the Red Chamber The Story of the Stone 红楼梦

Have you read these books? Have you seen them on TV? Have you read an abridged childrens version of the story? Do you like these stories? Would you recommend them or not?

Famous Book in English

England doesn’t have a list of just four famous books that everyone can agree on, like China does. Look at the lists below collected from many famous websites, newspapers and magazines. Notice the wide variation in the books choosen. No two lists are the same.

Have you read any of the books on the list below? If not read, do you know the story? Have you heard about them? What can you tell the class about these books? Do you think it would be worth you reading these books yourself?

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

List of best selling books
Title Author Language Date Number Sold
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens English 1859 200 million
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien English 1954–1955 150 million
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry French 1943 140 million
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien English 1937 100 million
Dream of the Red Chamber Cao Xueqin Chinese 1754–1791 100 million
And Then There Were None Agatha Christie English 1939 100 million
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis English 1950 85 million
She: A History of Adventure H. Rider Haggard English 1887 83 million
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown English 2003 83 million
Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill English 1937 70 million 100 best Novels
Choosen by the Board Choosen by readers
  • ULYSSES by James Joyce
  • THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
  • BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
  • THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
  • CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
  • DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
  • SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
  • THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
  • ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand
  • BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
  • THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • ANTHEM by Ayn Rand
  • WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand
  • MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
  • FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard

  1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  2. Ulysses by James Joyce
  3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  6. 1984 by George Orwell
  7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  10. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Time Magazine – Greatest Books of All Time

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  7. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
  10. Middlemarch by George Eliot