Croatian Tales of Long Ago

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Croatian Tales of Long Ago
Berlic-Mazuranic cover m.jpg
Cover of the 1924 London edition
AuthorIvana Brlić-Mažuranić
Original titlePriče iz davnine
TranslatorF.S. Copeland
IllustratorVladimir Kirin
GenreChildren's short story collection
PublisherMatica hrvatska
Publication date
Published in English
1922 (New York)
1924 (London)
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages258 pp (New York edition)

Croatian Tales of Long Ago (Croatian: Priče iz davnine), is a short story collection written by the acclaimed children's author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (sometimes spelled as "Ivana Berlić-Mažuranić" in English),[1] originally published in 1916 in Zagreb by the Matica hrvatska publishing house.[2] The collection is considered her masterpiece and it features a series of newly written fairy tales heavily inspired by motifs taken from ancient Slavic mythology of pre-Christian Croatia.[3]

Croatian Tales of Long Ago are seen as one of the most typical examples of her writing style which has been compared by literary critics to Hans Christian Andersen and J. R. R. Tolkien due to the way it combines original fantasy plots with folk mythology.[3]

The collection was translated into English by F.S. Copeland and first published in New York in 1922 by the Frederick A. Stokes Co.[4] and in 1924 in London by the George Allen & Unwin publishing house,[1] the same company which originally published J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit in 1937,[5] and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1954–55.[6][7] The English-language editions also featured illustrations by the Croatian illustrator Vladimir Kirin.[4]


The original Croatian edition published in 1916 consisted of six stories. Two additional stories were later added and first published in the Croatian 1926 edition. These eight appear in contemporary Croatian editions. Since the English translation was published before the extra two stories were written, they featured only the original six tales. The following is the list of original titles followed by English titles as translated by Copeland (stories missing from the English version are marked with the † symbol):

  • Kako je Potjeh tražio istinu (How Quest Sought the Truth)
  • Ribar Palunko i njegova žena (Fisherman Plunk and His Wife)
  • Regoč (Reygoch)
  • Šuma Striborova (Stribor's Forest)
  • Bratac Jaglenac i sestrica Rutvica (Little Brother Primrose and Sister Lavender)
  • Lutonjica Toporko i devet župančića
  • Sunce djever i Neva Nevičica (Bridesman Sun and Bride Bridekins)
  • Jagor

Between 2002 and 2006, the eight stories from the collection were adapted into a series of flash animated cartoons and interactive games made by an international team of animators from eight different countries, led by Helena Bulaja. The project won numerous awards at various new media and animation festivals. The cartoons were produced in Croatian, English and German and published in CD-ROM format, and are available for viewing online.[8]

List of translations[edit]

Language Year Translator Title (Location)
English 1922 F.S. Copeland Croatian Tales of Long Ago (New York)
1924 Croatian Tales of Long Ago (London)
Swedish 1928 Lavendel och Rosmarin (Stockholm)
Czech 1928 Jan Hudec Pohádky z dávných dob (Prague)
Danish 1929 Lavendel og Rosmarin (Copenhagen)
Russian 1930 Skazki davnjago vremeni (Zagreb)
(Рассказы из древности)
German 1931 Aus Urväterzeiten (Zagreb)
1933 Aus Urväterzeiten (Salzburg)
Slovak 1931 Povesti iz pradávna
Slovene 1950 Zgodbine iz davnine (Zagreb)
1955 Pripovedke iz davnine (Ljubljana)
1962 Zgodbe iz davnine (Zagreb)
Macedonian 1956 Prikazni od staro vreme (Skopje)
1957 Pripovedke iz davnine (Toronto)
Italian 1957 Franjo Trogrančić Racconti e leggende della Croazia (Torino)
Albanian 1957 Tregime te lashtesis (Priština)
Hungarian 1965 Rég mült idök meséi (Novi Sad)
Ukrainian 1965 Kazky z davnyny (Kiev)
Latvian 2010 Horvātu stāsti no senatnes (Rīga)
Japanese 2010 Shigeo Kurihara[9] Mukashimukashi no mukashi kara (Kyoto)
(昔々の昔から) [10]


  1. ^ a b "YUL Slavic & East European Collection: Croatian Collection: Literature". Yale University Library. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Ivana Brlic Mazuranic". Croatian National Bank. Archived from the original on 8 April 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Croatia - Folklore and regional stories". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Croatian tales of long ago : Brlic-Mazuranic, Ivana, 1874-1938 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Tolkien's Hobbit fetches £60,000". BBC Online. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  6. ^ Smith, Anthony (27 November 2000). "Obituary: Rayner Stephens Unwin, publisher". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Books by J.R.R.Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings". Tolkien Library. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  8. ^ "Worldwide Fairytale Adventure - Croatian Tales of Long Ago". Bulaja naklada. Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Japanski veliki interes za "Priče iz davnine" Ivane Brlić-Mažuranić" (in Croatian). Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Japan, Tokyo. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  10. ^ "図書出版松籟社ホームページ :: 昔々の昔から:". 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-17.

External links[edit]