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Distributed for Iter Press

The Pleasant Nights

Edited and Translated by Suzanne Magnanini

In Giovan Francesco Straparola’s The Pleasant Nights, a group of men and women gather together in a villa on the Venetian island of Murano during Carnival to sing songs, tell tales, and solve riddles. A sixteenth-century bestseller, The Pleasant Nights is today a fundamental text for European folk and fairy tale studies, for alongside triumphal and tragic love stories, comical tales of practical jokes, and accounts of witty retorts, Straparola (1480? – 1557?) placed some of the first fairy tales printed in Europe. Straparola’s eloquent female narrators and the fairy tales they recount became a model for a generation of French women writers in Parisian salons, who used the fairy tale to interrogate the gender norms of their day. This book presents the first new and complete English translation of Straparola’s tales and riddles to be published since the nineteenth century.

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Table of Contents

Table of Tales xiii
Acknowledgments xxiii
Introduction 1
The Plesant Nights
Volume One: Nights One to Five 45
Volume Two: Nights Six to Thirteen 257
Appendix 469
Bibliography 477
Index 487

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