John Batten’s Indian Fairy Tales


I keep intending to write some longer pieces, including a review of Aleksei German’s unforgettable Hard To Be A God, but the workload has been heavy again so here’s another illustrated book.

Illustrations by John Dickson Batten (1860–1932) have appeared here before, all of them for collections of fairy tales compiled and adapted by Joseph Jacobs. Indian Fairy Tales (1892) is another Batten/Jacobs collaboration, and is as fine as their other books, with Batten enclosing many of his full-page drawings in elaborate frames. Most of the figures look nothing like Indian people but that’s standard for books of this period. The Internet Archive has several copies of this title, including a limited, numbered copy with hand-coloured illustrations. I prefer the illustrations in black-and-white, however, so that’s what you see here.



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