Searching for a folklore and legends book...


New Member
Hello, I registered because I wanted to ask you about a specific book on folk-lore and legends. I had it on my hard drive as a PDF file, and managed to read only the first tale when my hdd crashed, so I lost the book in question.

And now, I'm trying to find it again but for the life of me, I can't. The trouble is, I don't remember the exact title nor the author. But here's what I do remember.

- I found it on, of this I'm pretty sure (the book was definitely in public domain)
- it was a collection of legends and folklore of Europe. That is, I think it was Europe. I'm not 100% positive if the books was about European lore in general or German only: I'm quite sure the first and only tale which I read before the hdd crash was of German origin.
- it was a PDF file, a scan quite large in size (I think about 80-120MB); the scan was of poor quality (but readable)
- I think the title of the book was of a more generic sort. Like "Legends and Folklore of Europe" or "Myths and Legends of Europe", something in that vein.
- the book was old, I think published in the late 1800s or early 1900s
- the edition was in English, the editor / collector being British
- the book had two-column pages, with an illustration at the beginning of each tale
- the book wasn't about legend analysis and deciphering motifs and meanings behind the tales;
it only presented the tales.
- the first tale in the book was a German legend of a woman (of royalty, perhaps a princess) who was very beautiful and had many suitors; on one occasion a suitor/stranger came to her. She didn't meet him by chance, he came specifically to her (if I recall he came directly to her castle). The stranger charmed her, but his personality was rather melancholic and gloomy, but she fell hopelessly in love with him although he warned her several times that her love for him will have dire consequences; at the night of their wedding, he took her to a temple of sorts where he was revealed to be a thousand years old ghost (apparition of a kind), and he, regretfully, made her a sort of a ghost bride by taking her soul or something in a similar fashion. (there were other ghosts/apparitions present at the "ceremony"). It's also worthy noting that the tale was quite lengthy. It also read more like a proper ghost story (with dialogue and everything) than any of the other myths- and legends-related literature I've ever seen. It was descriptive and very atmospheric, contrary to the terse "Once upon a time... they lived happily ever after" narration style. That's why it left such an impression on me.

I searched, but I just can't find the book anymore, nor the tale itself. More so, I asked some knowledgeable people on other sites and they weren't able to help me. They suggested "The Golden Bough" by J. G. Frazer but it isn't it.

So if someone knows this book I'm talking about, I'd be grateful for the help.


New Member
Thank you very much, Myrddin! Any help is appreciated.

Unfortunately, the list of German folklorists wasn't of much use to me, since the book was in English. I think it wasn't an English translation of a German work, but an original work by the author. I repeat, I'm not even sure if the whole collection was about German lore - I only managed to read the first tale. But I can't believe how hard to find this book is turning out to be, almost to the point of thinking I imagined it! And to think that the first time I found it completely randomly...

At least I'd like to get that tale I read identified, and although there are plenty of stories involving princesses and maidens, not one seems to fit. I remembered one more thing. there was a religious / Christian element to the tale. At the end, during the macabre wedding, the Stranger related to his bride that he was cursed for his wrongdoings of the past, and was somehow forced to live forever to collect souls for the Devil, in order to be freed from his bondage (A 1000 souls, if I remember, was his goal). That is, I think. The specifics elude me, but it was definitely something of the sort - the man was an soul-collecting agent for some higher power.


Well-Known Member
Nice. I've started reading At the Mountains of Madness and have been interested in reading "The Call of Cthulhu". Took it out of the library once, but never got around to reading it. I will try again at some point well I'm between books. Easier to start something new. How many of Lovecraft's stories have you read so far? And which ones?

E. M.


New Member
Since all of his works are in public domain, I've downloaded The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft as an e-book from here:

I'm enjoying them on my Nook at the moment, though I plan on getting them all in paper form one day. Wordsworth Editions has them collected in a four volume set, for a bargain price.

To answer your question, I started from the beginning of the list as shown on; right now I'm through with "The Call of Cthulhu" and have yet to begin "Pickman's Model". HPL doesn't really have intricate plots, and his is very static in narration, that is, in almost every yarn the whole story is narrated after it's done instead of being told as it happens. This makes you - the reader - somewhat distanced from it all. Personally, I prefer dynamic storytelling.

But HPL is special.

Only a handful of writers I've ever read have come close to his level of atmosphere crafting. He's not a prose writer, he's in fact a poet. He paints vivid pictures with his words, and often offers personal philosophical insights which I find extremely intriguing. There's a whole lot of Jung and/or Joseph Campbell and/or Robert Anton Wilson in HPL.

Here's an extract from "The Tomb" (1917):

It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism.
"Beyond the Wall of Sleep" (1919):

I have frequently wondered if the majority of mankind ever pause to reflect upon the occasionally titanic significance of dreams, and of the obscure world to which they belong. Whilst the greater number of our nocturnal visions are perhaps no more than faint and fantastic reflections of our waking experiences—Freud to the contrary with his puerile symbolism—there are still a certain remainder whose immundane and ethereal character permits of no ordinary interpretation, and whose vaguely exciting and disquieting effect suggests possible minute glimpses into a sphere of mental existence no less important than physical life, yet separated from that life by an all but impassable barrier. From my experience I cannot doubt but that man, when lost to terrestrial consciousness, is indeed sojourning in another and uncorporeal life of far different nature from the life we know; and of which only the slightest and most indistinct memories linger after waking. From those blurred and fragmentary memories we may infer much, yet prove little. We may guess that in dreams life, matter, and vitality, as the earth knows such things, are not necessarily constant; and that time and space do not exist as our waking selves comprehend them. Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.
In short, HPL is best read a story or two at a time, in between other books, because reading him all in one go can be somewhat of an overload.


Are you still looking for this book?

If I can have your permission V_Shaft (or you can do it yourself) can I (or you) copy/paste this to make a thread on Goodreads' group "What's The Name of That Book???" @

They've found a few books for me in the past.