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Benjamin Thorpe

(1782—1870) Old English scholar


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(1782–1870), British philologist, Anglo-Saxon scholar, and translator. In 1851 his three-volume Northern Mythology, which included a selection of Scandinavian literary and folk legends, acquainted the British public with trolls, water sprites, and other Norse supernaturals. In 1853 a companion volume, Yule-Tide Stories, helped popularize Scandinavian fairy tales in England. Thorpe retold Northern versions of such popular tales as ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’, noting their analogues. His translations of less-known stories like ‘The Beautiful Palace East of the Sun and West of the Moon’, a Swan Maiden tale, influenced Victorian authors including William Morris.

From The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Children's Literature Studies.


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