Saturday, July 13, 2013
Brown - The Young Dragon - Keeping the Public in Public Domain
Mermaids, dragons, trolls, princesses, princes, and fairy godmothers! Julia Brown's book, The Mermaid's Gift and Other Stories from 1912 has all of these and more.
The title story is an interesting contrast to Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid." Unfortunately the book not only is out of print, but it has yet to be digitized and put on line. Buying or borrowing it currently is your only way to read the entire book.
Personally I would have to condense the title story for retelling and, at 60 pages, even with a double spread, it's too long for this blog. It would benefit, in my opinion, from condensing. Let's face it, literary tales of 100 years ago may have a more leisurely and different style of writing. It's plot and characters, however, are worth discovering. I won't say more as I don't want to give away just how it is an interesting contrast to Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid." That may be something leading you to seek it out.
In contrast, I love dragons and found Brown's story of her young dragon told in a style that adds to the fun of a young dragon testing out the conservative views of some elders against those of his more liberal father. There's more fun to the story than that, but here you can see for yourself.
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.