Tales of the Sun or Folklore of Southern India
The author of Tales of the Sun or Folklore from Southern India, Ms. Howard Kingscote, is a woman with quite a biography. Georgiana Kingscote, whose full name was Adeline Georgiana Isabella Kingscote, wrote several novels as “author Lucas Cleeve.” In 1890, Tales of the Sun was published after she gathered stories from Pandit Natesa Sastri. The book’s foreword addresses how she was fascinated that folklorists from across the world saw so many countries have the same stories told in new ways, and she especially liked how the tales of India involved magic, gods and other elements. Born in 1860, Georgiana Kingscote was the daughter of a MP, and married when she was 24. Quickly after the wedding, Georgiana went to India with her new husband, Howard Kingscote, and the two had three children in 1886, 1887, and 1888. Shortly after her youngest child was born, Kingscote had two books published: Tales of the Sun, and The English Baby in India and How to Rear It.
She became fascinated with the local folklore her servants told her, but found that she didn’t have the complete versions, as the servants had learned “corrupt” stories from the local bazaar workers. Paṇḍit Natêśa Sástrî, a scholar of 18 languages and a former government worker in the Department of Art and Sculpture Archeology, helped her gather the true and authentic stories for Tales of the Sun. The fantasy and allure of the the stories the duo gathered is nothing compared to the life Kingscote was living in the pages of the British papers.
Shortly before Tales of the Sun was published, Howard Howard Kingscote had become a Colonel. The Kingscote family returned to England and lived in Dover. Georgiana’s first novel, The Woman Who Wouldn’t, was published to great reception and sold out quickly in 1895, but the real story was in the papers later. A scandal erupted as Georgiana began to let herself be supported by a number of wealthy men, including two Vicars, and a Lord Byron. She went bankrupt in 1899, and the press couldn’t get enough of the sordid details. She ran away to Switzerland with her children, one of whom became an Olympian tennis player. Upon her death in 1908, she had written 65 books.
Fairy tales by Tales of the Sun or Folklore of Southern India
- The Brâhmiṇ Girl that Married a Tiger
- Brâhmaṇ’s Wife and the Mungoose
- The Brâhmaṇ Priest who became an Amildâr
- The Beggar and the Five Muffins
- The Brahmarâkshas and the Hair
- The Good Husband and the Bad Wife
- Good Will Grow Out of Good
- The Gardener's Cunning Wife
- Good Luck to the Lucky One; Or Shall I Fall Down?
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