Puss in Boots – and Other Very Clever Cats
Our Book of the Month for January is Puss in Boots – and Other Very Clever Cats from our beloved Origins of Fairy Tales from Around the World Series.
This series showcases the amazing breadth and diversity involved in folkloric storytelling. It focuses on the phenomenon that the same tales, with only minor variations, appear again and again in different cultures – across time and geographical space.
Puss in Boots is a tale known all over the world; re-adapted, appropriated and changed by many cultures. The plot centres around a cat (or in some cases a jackal, a gazelle, or even a fairy-in-disguise) that uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and the hand of a princess for his penniless and low-born master. It is unusual in folkloric storytelling, in that there is no obvious moral – with riches gained through double-dealing, rightful owners deprived of their lands, and innocent princesses given falsely in marriage.
Alongside the history of the Puss in Boots tale and an introduction the fairy tale genre, this book contains seven different versions of the ‘Puss in Boots’ story. It encompasses the following fairy tale and folktales:
- ‘Costantino Fortunato’ (An Italian Tale) written by Giovanni Francesco Straparola.
- ‘Le Maître Chat, ou Le Chat Botté’ (A French Tale) written by Charles Perrault.
- ‘The Poor Miller’s Boy and the Cat’ (A German Tale) written by Brothers Grimm.
- ‘The Match-Making Jackal’ (An Indian Tale) from Reverend Lal Behari Dey’s Folktales of Bengal (1883).
- ‘Lord Peter’ (A Scandinavian Tale) from a collection of Popular Tales from the Norse (1888), originally collated by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe.
- ‘The Story of a Gazelle’ (A Swahili Tale) written down by the Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang.
- ‘The Earl of Cattenborough’ (A British Tale) a story collected by Joseph Jacobs in his European Folk and Fairy Tales (1916).
The tales in this book are enhanced by the addition of over 50 stunning illustrations by talented artists from the Golden Age of Illustration. Illustrations from Walter Crane, Charles Robinson, W. Heath Robinson, Margaret Tarrant and many more provide a fascinating insight into an era of intense historical and creative development, bringing both little-known stories, and the art that has accompanied them, back to life.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this classic fairy tale and it’s many variations from around the world.
If you would like to purchase this book to read these tales in full visit Amazon.
If you would like to read more about the legend of Puss in Boots visit our page on the History of Puss in Boots.