This lovely book of myths and legends is divided into two sections. The first relates some of the splendid legends of the great German heroes, among them the story of Gudrun, and the stirring saga of Siegfried and the vengeance of Kriemhild—stories of the legendary past of the Teutonic people. There follows a lively collection of traditional folk-tales including the entertaining escapades of the rascally Till Eulenspiegel, well-known stories like The Mousetower and The Ratcatcher of Hamlin, and other, perhaps less familiar, tales of enchantment and chivalry.
Barbara Leonie Picard, also the author of French Legends, Tales and Fairy Stories, is well known for her original fairy stories and her re-telling of traditional tales. She has brought to her writing a beauty and purity of style, a consummate skill as story-teller, that make this book distinguished. The illustrations by Joan Kiddell-Monroe are as outstanding as any of her much acclaimed work for the earlier books.
“Twenty stories – six hero-sagas and fourteen folk tales – are masterfully told here by Barbara Leonie Picard, author of French Legends, Tales, and Fairy Stories. This addition to the Oxford Myths and Legends series contains in its first section those heroic episodes about which German mythology revolves and on which the Wagner cycle is based. The second section presents stories, some familiar, some obscure, of a less epic stature – Till Eulenspiegal, the Ratcatcher of Hamelin, Reineke Fox – tales of earthy wisdom, comedy, and wonder. Barbara Leonie Picard's direct and potent narrative lends itself particularly well to these German stories which are noted, not for their delicacy and preciousness, but rather for the immensity of their scope and their unadorned virility.” KIRKUS REVIEW