Folk Tales From Britanny

Britanny is a region in the north-west of France, which was once its own kingdom. It is fiercely proud of its cultural heritage, which is Celtic. The region also speaks two languages, apart from French, Gallo and Breton which is a Celtic language closely related to Cornish and Welsh.

This collection is taken from 'Folk Tales of Brittany' by Elsie Masson, with drawings by Thornton Oakley, published in 1929.

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Thumbnail For The Basin Of Gold And The Diamond Lance
Peronnik is an orphan, who to eat knocks on doors asking for scraps. At one house he hears a knight talk about a magical basin of gold and a diamond lance.
Thumbnail For The Castle Of Comorre
There once lived a king whose daughter was called Trephine. She was the most beautiful and pure princess in the whole world and the king loved her dearly.
Thumbnail For The Changeling
Mariannik and her husband lived in a thatched cottage with their greatest treasure Loik, their young son. One sad day he was stolen by Queen of the Dwarfs.
Thumbnail For The Country Bumpkin And The Hobgoblin
Barbaik was very beautiful, but also vain. Jegu who worked for her father loved her with all his heart, but she laughed and called him a country bumpkin.
Thumbnail For The Foster Brother
Gwennola was the prettiest maiden in the country and had no family save her cruel step-mother. But she never gave up hope her foster brother would return.
Thumbnail For The Four Gifts
Azenor owned a fine farm in Pont-Aven, where she and her niece Tephany worked hard. But Azenor unlike Tephany was gripped by the love and power of money.
Thumbnail For The Hazel Scepter
Perik Skearn dreamt of wealth and beautiful maidens. He had heard a story from the beggar of the Cross of Yar. If this was true, it would grant his dream.
Thumbnail For The Hunchback And The Elves
On a certain heath, there was a village of elves. Each night they would dance wildly, if you chanced upon them you too would have to dance till daybreak.
Thumbnail For Lady Yolanda's Thimble
The warriors were at the Crusades, meaning life was boring with no hunting and parties. But the women put their minds to work, which displeased Old Nick.
Thumbnail For Little White Thorn And The Talking Bird
Long ago there was a poor widow named Ninor, who had a young daughter called White-thorn. Her job was to look after the old black cow they had been given.
Thumbnail For The Magic Rocks And The Beggar
In the village of Plouhinec lived a man named Marzin, who refused all suitors for his sister Rozen. This broke the heart of Bernez who loved Rozen dearly.
Thumbnail For Princess Ahez And The Lost City
Once a king named Grallon, along with his retinue became lost in the forest and sought refuge in a hermit's hut. This was the hermitage of Saint Corentin.
Thumbnail For The Wasp, The Winged Needle And The Spider
Tonyk and Mylie were young noblemen. Tonyk was kind and generous, but Mylie loved to bargain and bore a grudge, if ever he felt wrong had been done to him.
Thumbnail For The Witch Of Lok Island
Houarn Pogam and Bella Postik were lovers, from childhood. They had no money to marry, so one day Houarn told Houarn he was leaving to seek his fortune.
Thumbnail For Yannik The Fairy Child
Long ago when elves danced on heaths, Yannik ran free in the woods and fields. If he was given a gift he would smile, but never speak because he was dumb.

Sources And Further Reading

Sacred Texts Folk Tales of Brittany by Elsie Masson [1929]