Despite the tremendous differences between cultures and ethnicities across the world, all of them have folk heroes and heroines—real and imagined—that have been represented in tales, legends, songs, and verse. These stories persist through time and space, over generations, even through migrations to new countries and languages. This encyclopedia is a one-stop source for broad coverage of the world’s folk hero tales.
Geared toward high school and early college readers, the book opens with an overview of folk heroes and heroines that provides invaluable context and then presents a chronology. The book is divided into two main sections: the first provides entries on the major types and themes; the second addresses specific folk tale characters organized by continent with folk hero entries organized alphabetically. Each entry provides cross references as well as a list of further readings. Continent sections include a bibliography for additional research. The book concludes with an alphabetical list of heroes and an index of hero types.
- Supplies entries on folk tale characters worldwide that identify related heroes and heroines and provide additional contextual information
- Features a geographical organization that enables readers to research a specific region's folk characters
- Provides an alphabetical index as well as an index of heroic character types to facilitate cross-cultural and historical comparisons
- Includes sidebars with passages from the folk tales, popular culture, and other items of interest