Joseph Jacobs

Joseph Jacobs (1854–1916) loved to study history and folklore—or traditional stories, beliefs and customs. He was born and grew up in Australia, but moved to England when he was 18, and finally settled in the United States.

From an early age, Jacobs loved to read, and used to delight his friends by telling them all the stories he had learnt from books.

As an adult, he wrote articles for newspapers, gave lectures and produced books on history; but he is best remembered for his editions of classic tales. In 1890 he published English Fairy Tales, and during the next ten years he published several more books of tales.

It is mainly thanks to Joseph Jacobs that children can today enjoy stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Tom Tit Tot, Chicken Licken and Jack and the Beanstalk.

Works by Joseph Jacobs

Currently available from Books for Learning are the stories Chicken Licken (retold for children aged six and above) and Jack and the Beanstalk (retold for children aged seven and above). Both adaptations are based on stories from Jacobs' English Fairy Tales.

His works include:

  • English Fairy Tales
  • More English Fairy Tales
  • Celtic Fairy Tales
  • Indian Fairy Tales
  • The Thousand and One Nights (in six volumes)