Detail View: Historical and Illustrated Fairy Tales: Notte Undecima

Once Upon A Time: Historical and Illustrated Fairy Tales
Notte Undecima
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reformatted digital
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Although today the fairy tales of France's Charles Perrault and Germany's Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are perhaps better known, the first literary fairy tales published in Europe appeared in Giovanfrancesco Straparola's Le piacevoli notti, or The Pleasant Nights (Venice; 2 vols, 1551 and 1553). The Pleasant Nights contains many different types of tales, including realistic novellas, stories about practical jokes, tragic and triumphant love stories, bawdy tales, and animal stories. Some sixteen of these 74 tales are fairy tales. Straparola is the author of Puss-in-Boots, the story of an impoverished boy whose enchanted cat earns him wealth, marriage to a princess, and a kingdom. Among the other fairy tales in The Pleasant Nights, we find a dragon slayer tale; the tale of a prince born in the shape of a pig due to a fairy's curse who regains his human form only after marrying three times; the story of Biancabella or "White Beauty" a princes who undergoes many trials until finally being saved by a fairy; and the a poor girl who acquire a magic doll that poops money and helps her marry a prince. We know very little about the life of Giovanfrancesco Straparola. He most likely was born in Caravaggio, Italy around 1480 and probably died in or near Venice around 1557. Besides his collection of tales, The Pleasant Nights, he wrote a collection of poetry published in 1508. Even his name is a mystery: "Straparola" translates roughly as "too wordy" or "The Babbler". Straparola's The Pleasant Nights was an early modern bestseller reprinted some twenty times in Italy between 1551 and 1620. The 1608 edition displayed here contains charming woodcuts that illustrate key scenes from the tales.
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Host Book Title: 
tredici piacevolissime notte
Host Book Name Part: 
Straparola, Giovanni Francesco
Host Book Name Part Date: 
ca. 1480-1557?
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Host Book Publisher: 
Z. Zanetti
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Host Book Extent: 
[1], 309 p., [12] ; 15 cm
Host Book Note: 
di M. Gio. Francesco Straparola da Carauaggio ... Nuouamente di bellissime figure adornate, & appropriate à ciascheduna fauola
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Host Book Subject Topic: 
Tales -- Italy -- Early works to 1800
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Host Book Subject Topic: 
Fairy tales -- Italy
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Host Book Classification: 
PQ4634.S7 T7 1608
Host Book Physical Location: 
University of Colorado Libraries
Host Book Sublocation: 
Special Collections Department
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