Throughout time there have been some legendary storytellers, people who have captivated their audiences in the way they can portray information and describe epic events or mythical tales. In this blog we look at some of the greatest storytellers that have ever lived and celebrate the legacies they have left behind.
Scheherazade was actually a slave under the rule of the tyrannical Sultan Schahriah, who was famous for beheading his enemies. To save her own neck, the clever Scheherazade decided to tell her master one thousand and one stories, one per night. The stories were old Arabian and Persian tales that had been handed down for generations, her skill was keeping the best part of the story back, so the Sultan requested she continued the next night. Her storytelling saved her life, and included classic tales such as Aladdin and his lamp, Sinbad, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
The Brothers Grimm
Considering the Brothers Grimm were famous for their fairy-tales they were at the time of writing X-rated, as far as the kids were concerned. They were full of goblins, demons and evil witches as well as every sort of monster they could dream up.
This was a way for the Brothers to tell about the harsh life the citizens of Central Europe had in the 18th Century. When they first wrote some of their fairy-tales they were so gruesome that they were made to edit them by religious leaders, and law men. Most of the Grimm stories have now been so watered down they are hardly recognizable from the original text. But they left us with some wonderful fairy-tales that include, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella.
Hans Christian Andersen
The Nordic people have always been associated with stories and one of the best storytellers in history has to be Hans Christian Andersen. As a child, legend tells us that Hans was an ugly kid, so ugly that nobody would play with him. He adopted his own fantasy world mostly by reading about great men that had overcome poverty, hatred and prejudice to rise to be rich and famous. After the death of his father Hans traveled around the countryside telling stories for money to buy food.
The stories he told he eventually wrote down when he was thirty, and he finally achieved his dream of acceptance. Some of his great fairy-tales are; The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and the Princess and the Pea.
Our final great storyteller is a Frenchman called Charles Perrault. Perrault lived in France during the 17th Century and was responsible for writing some of the greatest children’s fairy-tales that have ever been created. Who can possibly forget the tales of, Puss in Boots, Tom Thumb, and the enchanting Sleeping Beauty. Children all over the world are still captivated by these tales just as they were all those centuries ago.
Without these great storytellers our lives would be far the poorer, they have relayed stories that can be enjoyed by kings and peasants, from children to adults, and are timeless.