Charles Godfrey Leland was one of the most popular American writers and artists of the 19th century, publishing more than 20 books of legends, fairy tales, humor and essays. Today, however, he is a woefully underappreciated writer. Written, designed, and illustrated by Leland in 1892, The Book of One Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria is a forgotten classic. The book features the Scheherazade-like fairy goddess Bellaria: powerful and mysterious, courageous and clever, goddess of spring, flowers, love, fate, and death. In this story, Bellaria engages in a duel of wits with an evil king, a death match of 100 riddles. Each riddle is spoken as a rhyme and beautifully illustrated by an original engraving by Leland.
By Charles G. Leland
Edited by Jack Zipes
University of Minnesota Press, $24.95
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The Book of One Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria