A Tale Type and Motif Index of Early U.S. Almanacs

A Tale Type and Motif Index of Early U.S. Almanacs

Hardback Contributions in Labor Studies,

By (author) Robert K. Dodge, By (author) J.Michael Stitt


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  • Publisher: Greenwood Press
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 165mm x 230mm x 35mm | 794g
  • Publication date: 19 July 1991
  • Publication City/Country: Westport
  • ISBN 10: 0313260486
  • ISBN 13: 9780313260483
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

Early American almanacs are fascinating resources for insight into the life, attitudes, and culture of the new nation. Along with calendars and maps, political events, agricultural advice, medicinal cures, and other information, many almanacs printed tales, stories, and jokes designed to entertain. Never before systematically organized, most of this narrative material has remained obscure for two hundred years. Here a literary scholar and a folklorist combine skills to catalog and index this material from over a thousand almanacs according to the standard methodology established by the Aarne-Thompson Type and Motif Indexes. The volume illuminates much of the richness in content and form of this materials. In content, there are stories dealing with ethnic and racial groups; with animals; with members of professions and trades; servants, bumpkins, and tricksters--often stereotypical and antifeminist. In form, there are puns; humorous anecdotes; and comic, tragic, and fabulous tales, including tales with literary counterparts and tales with folk counterparts, notably the classic American tall tales. The Motif Index and a shorter Tale Type Index comprise the heart of the volume. Also included are a bibliography of the almanacs indexed and an index of subjects. The work begins with detailed information on how the index was constructed and how to use it. Of value to folklorists and students of American humor and popular culture, the volume should also expose an interesting body of material for further study and enjoyment.

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