Laura Gonzenbach

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Laura Gonzenbach (1842–1878) was a Swiss folklorist, active in Messina, who collected fairy tales in a number of European dialects.

Gonzenbach was born in a Swiss-German community of Sicily, to a German-speaking mercantile family, her sister, Magdelena, began a school in Messina. She became well educated and gained renown for the stories she gathered from a diverse range of sources, often other women.[1] After the prompting of Otto Hartwig for material to append to a historical survey of the country,[2] she produced what would become an important two volume collection, Sicilianische Märchen (Sicilian folk-tales), published in 1870.[3][4] Her seminal works collected tales given verbally, by peasants or other working and middle classes, and is noted as one of the few major collections of the nineteenth century to be compiled by a woman.[1]


  1. ^ a b Haase, Donald (2008). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales: G-P. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 417. ISBN 978-0-313-33443-6. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Aus Sizilien: Kultur und Gesichtsbilder (1867-1869)
  3. ^ The Robber with a Witch's Head: Review by Francesca Orestano, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.
  4. ^ Zipes, Jack David (2003). "Laura Gonzenbach and Her Forgotten Treasure of Sicilian Fairy Tales". Marvels & Tales 17 (2): 239–242. doi:10.1353/mat.2003.0038. ISSN 1536-1802.