Myths and legends have fascinated mankind since the dawn of time. While science has cleared up many of the mysteries that may have baffled our ancestors, many of the tales they told remain just as interesting today. It is also really intriguing how different cultures from around the world have come up with their own unique myths and legends. Fortunately, most of these stories have been compiled by various authors over the years and it is now possible to read many of them for free. So, if you are interested in the tales that captivated people across the globe, then browse through the following free ebooks about their myths and legends.
by Thomas Bulfinch
If you have more than a passing interest in the mythical history of England, especially king Arthur and his knights, then The Age of Chivalry by Thomas Bulfinch should be on your reading list. This volume is not aimed at scholars, but ordinary readers and contains information about Arthur, Merlin, Tristram and Isoude, The Round Table and much more.
by Richard Gordon Smith
Richard Gordon Smith spent more than twenty years traveling across the globe to collect objects of natural history for the British Museum. It is during these travels that he kept diaries of the tales that he heard, which formed the basis for this book. Thanks to his extensive travels, the book contains quite a varied selection of tales from different regions of Japan.
by Katie Langloh Parker
Australian Legendary Tales, a collection of stories that Katie Parker heard from Australian Aboriginal people, has the distinction of being one of the first books that attempted to document these tales. In fact, at the time the book was published, many Australians knew very little of the aboriginal legends. Parker also took great care with the translation of the stories to ensure that they are as accurate as possible.
by Louey Chisholm
Celtic Tales, Told to the Children is a collection of three stories with Celtic origins. The stories contained in this volume are Deirdre the Star-Eyes, The Four White Swans, as well as Dermat and Grania. While all three tales are rather sad, they nonetheless make for very interesting reading.
by Various Authors
If the Disney movie "Moana" piqued your interest in Hawaiian myths and legends, then this book is a great resource for finding out more. It is the result of a number of people who had the foresight to make a record of these tales, which might otherwise have faded into obscurity.
by A.L. Shelton
Tibetan Folk Tales is a selection of fifty stories, consisting of folk tales and proverbs, that were chosen by A.L. Shelton to reflect the true culture of the people of Tibet. With stories such as The Wise Bat, How the Fox Fell a Victim to His Own Deceit, and The Man and the Ghost, there is something for everyone in this compilation.
With so many different cultures from around the world, it is impossible to list all of the books with their folklore. If you have enjoyed the titles on this list and would like to read about more myths and legends be sure to check out Philippine Folk Tales by Mabel Cole, Legends of Vancouver by E. Pauline Johnson, Algonquin Indian Tales by Egerton Ryerson Young and The Babylonian Legends of Creation by the British Museum as well.