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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Alden - Fairies' Weather - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Here is a great story for all those times when we wish to change the weather.  This comes from the book, The Boy Who Found the King by Raymond MacDonald Alden.  I would also recommend that title story, too, but couldn't resist, at this time when spring transitions back and forth from winter to summer, a look at weather.  Alden wrote many stories and verse, but is best known for his Christmas story, Why the Chimes Rang -- both the book and title story.  It was even made into a one-act play.  If this selection leads you to try reading some of the other stories in any of these books then I have succeeded in keeping the work of these authors alive.  That is the intended purpose of Public Domain!

Search online to borrow a copy of the book.  It was later republished as Once There Was a King; A Tournament of Stories.  The illustrator for that version, however, is Evelyn Copelman.  As of this writing, May 18, 2013, none of the public domain sites have yet added The Boy Who Found the King.  Interlibrary loan and antiquarian book dealers currently are your only way to see the book.

I included the illustration from the original book by W.R. Lohse.  Personally I pictured the girl far younger since Alden calls her a "little girl", but love the old fashioned style having her look medieval.  The book has a medieval framework of stories called "A Tournament of Stories", letting the stories be part of a storytelling contest.



































 
































 

































 





































































































































































































I dropped the frame that followed the story where the children involved in the Tournament of Stories comment.  It may give the book a structure, but is unrelated to the tale of "Fairies' Weather."


Next will be a Korean tale looking at that old rivalry between dogs and cats, but it's part of yet a larger theme.  I hope you'll look for it.

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This is part of a series of bi-weekly posting of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories. 

Currently I'm involved in projects taking me out of my usual work of sharing stories with an audience.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  This fall I expect to return to my normal monthly posting of a research project here.  Depending on response, I will decide at that time if "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my monthly postings. 
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