Griffin Reads – The Chinese Fairy Book

Title: The Chinese Fairy Book

Editor: Richard Wilhelm

Genre: Folklore, Mythology

Summary: The Chinese Fairy Book immerses readers in the rich tapestry of Chinese folklore and mythology. Compiled and edited by Richard Wilhelm, this collection presents a diverse array of enchanting tales, ranging from ancient legends of gods and goddesses to whimsical stories of magical creatures and heroic adventures. As Wilhelm weaves together these timeless narratives, readers gain insight into the cultural and spiritual heritage of China, discovering the moral lessons, mystical realms, and captivating characters that populate its folklore.

Content Guide:

  • Mythological and fantastical themes
  • No explicit content
  • Cultural and moral insights

My Thoughts:

The first thing that readers should know about this collection of stories is that it was first published over a hundred years ago. Originally published in 1921, many elements show the subtle influence of Anglicized vocabulary and cultural reference points common in that time period. That being said, this volume of fairy tales can serve as as a wonderful introduction into the captivating world of Chinese folklore.

While I make no claim of having a comprehensive knowledge of Chinese literature or mythology, I found this collection to be accessible and entertaining. The mythical themes, while fantastical, carry some welcome cultural and moral insights. From stories of love and sacrifice to the whimsical exploits of mischievous spirits, the tales in this collection feel both timeless and unique.

In my opinion, The Chinese Fairy Book is a treasure trove for folklore enthusiasts and those eager to explore the imaginative realms of Chinese mythology. If you enjoy mythology and would like to expand into Chinese folklore, this collection should prove a delightful and enlightening choice.

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