Each Fairy Book demands a preface from the Editor, and these
introductions are inevitably both mono-tonous and unavailing. A
sense of literary honesty compels the Editor to keep repeating that
he is the Editor, and not the author of the Fairy Tales, just as a
distinguished man of science is only the Editor, not the Author of
Nature. Like nature, popular tales are too vast to be the creation
of a single modern mind. The Editor's business is to hunt for
collections of these stories told by peasant or savage grandmothers
in many climes, from New Caledonia to Zululand; from the frozen
snows of the Polar regions to Greece, or Spain, or Italy, or far
Lochaber. When the tales are found they are adapted to the needs of
British children by various hands, the Editor doing little beyond
guarding the interests of propriety, and toning down to mild
reproofs the tortures inflicted on wicked step-mothers, and other
1st World Library, Ltd
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