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Excerpts from the foreword:
Tales Told in Holland consists chiefly of stories with a few translations from the greatest Dutch poets and a few old Dutch nursery rhymes, naive and nonsensical as our English rhymes, and contrasting interestingly with the far more sophisticated rhymes of the French.
There is at least one story from each of the eleven Dutch Provinces, which form the kingdom of the Netherlands; fanciful folk tales from the little known heath and fen country of Groningen, Drente, Overyssel and Gelderland where the folk must make up for the barrenness of their land by the fruitfulness of their fancy; realistic tales from the green and fertile provinces of Friesland, Utrecht, North Holland, South Holland and Zeeland, with their typical Dutch scenery, -- flat green fields, windmills, little red-roofed houses, dykes, and black and white cows, -- a country so satisfying that the good folk accept the world as their two eyes behold it and do not fly away on the wings of fancy but are quite as matter-of-fact as their excellent Edam cheese; and so on the stories go through the Province of North Brabant to Limburg, the land of ancient Sagas of Charlemagne, bordering his capital of Aix-la-Chapelle, and full of the atmosphere of romantic legend.
Expressing the Dutch sense of humor we have tales of the wise men of Kampen who do all the foolish things done in Holland, that Dutchest of Dutch puppets, Jan Klaasen with Katryn, his wife, Tyl Ulenspiegel, the beloved Dutch clown, and those ridiculous German simpletons, the Hannekemaiers, who come every year to help with the harvest in Holland and furnish the Dutchman a butt for the merriest pranks of his humor.
In addition to these folk tales, there are tales of the great Dutch artists, that wonderful group whom even Italy could scarcely excel, and stories with a background introducing all the high spots in Dutch history, including the time when the Netherlands formed a part of the Empire of Charlemagne and her struggle for independence from Spain.
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