All the World's Reward

Folktales Told by Five Scandinavian Storytellers

Reimund Kvideland and Henning K. Sehmsdorf

  • Published: July 2015
  • Subject Listing: Literature
  • Bibliographic information: 344 pp., 37 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

All the World's Reward presents ninety-eight tales from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Swedish-speaking Finland, and Iceland. Each area is represented by the complete recorded repertoire of a single storyteller. Such a focus helps place the stories in the context of the communities in which they were performed and also reveals how individual folk artists used the medium of oral literature to make statements about their lives and their world. Some preferred jocular stories and others wonder tales; some performed mostly for adults, others for children; some used storytelling to criticize society, and others spun wish fulfillment tales to find relief from a harsh reality.

For the most part collected a century ago, the stories were gleaned from archives and printed sources; the Icelandic repertoire was collected on audiotape in the 1960s. Each repertoire was selected by a noted folklorist. Introductions to the storytellers and collectors and commentaries and references for the tales are provided. A general introduction, a comprehensive bibliography, and an index of the tales according to Aarne-Thompson's typology are also included. Period illustrations add charm to the stories.

"The work's contribution is both timely and unique and will serve as a valued source for researchers wishing to explore issues of folk narrative in northern Europe. The inclusion of female, as well as male, narrators assures the collection of usefulness in a variety of academic contexts, and the decision to include scatalogical and bawdy materials-now tame by contemporary standards-adds further interest to the collection."
-Thomas A. DuBois, University of Washington
List of Contributors
List of Abbreviations

Part One Olav Eivindsson Austad: Tales from Setesdal, Norway (1907-1926)
Introduction: Norway's Last Great Storyteller
1. When the Bear Lost His Tail (at 2)
2. The Bear and the Fox Compete in Counting (at 7)
3. The Bear and the Fox Share a Field (at 9B)
4. The Firkin of Butter (at 15)
5. The Bear Kills Himself (at 21)
6. The House Mouse and the Woods Mouse (at 112)
7. The Ox, the Ram, and the Billy Goat (at 130 + 5)
8. The Frisky Gelding (at 153)
9. The Three Women and the Wolf (unclassified)
10. The Cuckoo (unclassified)
11. The Troll and the Three Sisters (at 311)
12. The Tale about the Wolf (at 425)
13. The Twelve Ravens (at 451)
14. Man-Daughter and Woman-Daughter (at 480)
15. The Goatherd Girl (at 501)
16. The Shining Apple Tree (at 510 AB)
17. Ashfart and the Cat (at 545B)
18. The Golden Apple (at 550)
19. The Mare That Dropped Money (at 563)
20. Thumb (I) (at 700)
21. Thumb (II) (at 700)
22. The Prince Who Wanted a Real Princess (at 704)
23. The Woman Who Got Three Wishes (at 750A)
24. The Girl Who Didn't Want Any Children (at 755)
25. Cheese-Dun (at 853)
26. The Merry Boy (at 921)
27. As Wind in Hot Sun (at 923A)
28. Ashfart Who Took a Job with the Troll (at 1052 + 1137)
29. The Cat in Dogre (at 1161)
30. Trond (at 1161)
31. The Crazy Wife (at 1384)
32. The Clumsy Girl (at 1453)
33. The Fortune-Teller (at 1535)
34. The Boy and the Parson (at 1535)
35. The Man Who Never Gave Lodging (at 1544)
36. Frick-Guss-Spass-Gass-Ber-Hu (unclassified)
37. The Bet (unclassified)
38. The Wretched Shoemaker (at 1640)
39. Pok, Slok, and Ashfart Go Stealing (at 1653B)
40. The Slow-Witted Son (at 1685 + 1696)
41. A Sermon (at 1824)
42. The Woman Who Got News from Home (at 1931)
43. The Goat Who Wouldn't Go Home (at 2015)

Part Two Ane Margrete Hansen: Tales from Jutland, Denmark (1889)
Introduction: National Treasure and Local Culture
44. The Two Hunters (at 303 + 567)
45. Millerimaej and Annekendaej (at 313)
46. The Scabby Garden Boy (at 314 + 1880)
47. The Three Wishes of the Smith (at 330 A)
48. Solvborg Castle (at 400)
49. The Sisters in the Well (at 480)
50. Under the Gallows on Midsummer's Eve (at 613)
51. The Clever Queen (at 875)
52. The Priceless Glove (at 892)
53. The Haughty Princess (at 900)
54. The Visit (at 915)
55. The Soldier and the King in Disguise (at 952)
56. The Foolish Wife (at 1382 + 1383)
57. Dorret's Marriage (at 1462)
58. The White and the Black Hen (at 1623*)
59. The Numbskull's Marriage (at 1696 + 1685)
60. The Three Lies (at 1920 + 1931)

Part Three Jakob Glader: Tales from Dal, Sweden (1884)
Introduction: Meeting the Storyteller
61. The Fox and the Bear (at 15)
62. The Store Mouse and the Woods Mouse (at 112)
63. The Billy Goat and the Wolf (at 132)
64. All the World's Reward (at 155)
65. The Suitor with the Green Beard (at 365)
66. The White Serpent Kingson (at 433A)
67. Perselia (at 710)
68. St. Peter's Wife (at 774A)
69. Ashfart, the Princess, and the Three Helpers (at 850 + 513 + 513B)
70. The Devil and Tita Gray (at 1074 + 1170)
71. The Cotter Who Competed with the Devil (at 1090)
72. The Skipper and Horn-Peter (at 1179)
73.The Name of the First Boy (at 1450)
74. The Girl Who Was So Handy (at 1453)
75. The Danish Minister (at 1832 + 1835)

Part Four Johann Backstrom: Tales from Osterby, Swedish Finland (1885)
Introduction: "Laughin' It Off"
76. The Lion Who Met a Pretty Good Man (at 157)
77. The Devil Who Stood Guard for Seven Years (at 361)
78. The Stingy Master (at 1544)
79. The Purse (at 1740*)
80. The New Minister (at 1825C)
81. The Minister and the Church Warden (at 1838)
82. The Two Friends (at 2014A)
83. The Farmer and the Mountain Troll (unclassified)
84. The Peasant Who Was Made a Knight (unclassified)
85. The Boy Who Corrected the Minister (unclassified)

Part Five Herdis Jonasdottir: Tales from Husafell, Iceland (1966-1967)
Introduction: A Contributing Tradition
86. Una, the Elf-Woman (at 306)
87. Hlini, the King's Son (at 317A)
88. Sigurour, Ingibjorg, and Kroknefja (at 327)
89. Hringur and the Dog Snati-Snati (at 328)
90. The Tale of the Dog Mori (at 425)
91. Fetching the Fire (at 480)
92. Mjaoveig (at 510)
93. The Boy in the Pot (at 675)
94. Bjorn Shifty-Cloak (at 706)
95. Lice-Black (at 850)
96. Lineik and Laufey (at 870B*)
97. The Good Stepmother (at 934E)
98. Gramann (at 1525)

Index of Tale Types
Illustration Credits

"[This book] will reward readers interested in Scandinavian folklore with beautifully presented texts, well-written introductions to the storytellers, and useful discussions of the historical context for folktale scholarship in Scandinavia."
-Journal of Folklore Research