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Croatian Tales of Long Ago

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Ivana Brlić
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Ivana Brlic Mazuranic, an acclaimed and treasured author, took her inspiration from the wider field of Slavic mythology and created a labour of love for just for her country, Croatian Tales of Long Ago. The anthology of tales is the height of her considerable achievements and it contains a set of fables written in the twentieth century which take their inspiration from ancient myths from the pre-Christian past of Croatia. Complete with goblins, gullible children, mischievous and kindly sprites. The stories whisk you through a world of mysterious woods, towering mountains, cloaks of dazzling gold and doting grandfathers. They have the characters arrayed against wicked neighbours, cruel family members and snakes in human clothing. Like her predecessors, Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, Mazuranic does not flinch from the darker realities of life, the biting cold, the fallibility of humans, but as only a genius can she wraps the brutal realities in a narrative that allows the reader to make sense of it and feel that the just have won the day. For an English speaking audience, this masterpiece represents an unparalleled opportunity to relive the wonder of a child learning about the magic which surrounds them in every hedgerow and shady glen. The suspense of whether a kind sweet old lady or grandfather can outwit the wily creatures that seek to take them from their cosy fires and to upset the harmony of their lives is born anew. Folklore enthusiasts, historians and lovers of literature will be drawn to this book, as a unique telling of traditional tales by a woman of unsurpassed imagination.

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