Selected and edited by E. F. Strange
Illustrated by Warwick Goble
This Italian collection of folk-tales now known as Il Pentamerone was first published at Naples, and in a Neapolitan dialect that kept it out of northern European tradition for two centuries, by Giambattista Basile, Conte di Torrone, who is believed to have collected them chiefly in Crete and Venice, and to have died in the 1630s. Originally it was called Lo Cunti de li Cunto (The Story of Stories, 1634). Published posthumously, it became known as the Pentamerone by 1674 and eventually influenced the form of fairytales in Europe. The frame-story is of a group of people passing time by sharing stories, as in the Decameron and other European collections of tales. The Pentamerone tells fifty tales over five nights.
The following illustrated version only contains 32 of the tales, follows the translation by John Edward Taylor published in 1847, and was published by Macmillan and Co., London 1911. The Pentamerone, despite being an influential classic, seems to have been largely ignored by translators and publishers, and no public domain full text is yet available online.
This text was diligently digitised by storyteller Batsy Bybell, Idaho, USA.