Folk Heroes and Heroines around the World
2nd Edition
by Graham Seal and Kim Kennedy White, Editors
March 2016, 411pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3860-6
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3861-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The story of Little Red Riding Hood was first printed in 1697, but the tale is much older than that date.

This comprehensive collection of folk hero tales builds on the success of the first edition by providing readers with expanded contextual information on story characters from the Americas to Zanzibar.

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
Graham Seal is an Australian folklorist who teaches at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian Society; The Oxford Companion to Australian Folklore (jointly edited with Gwenda Beed Davey); and The Outlaw Legend: A Cultural Tradition in Britain, America and Australia.

Kim Kennedy White, PhD, is an independent folklorist and senior acquisitions editor for race and ethnicity at ABC-CLIO. She is the editor of America Goes Green: An Encyclopedia of Eco-Friendly Culture in the United States and Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art.


"Summing Up: Recommended. High school, community college, and lower-level undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, November 1, 2016
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