~~ includes all 6 original illustrations by 19th-century illustrator Charles Keene ~~
~~ This book is DRM-free, which means you can buy it and then convert it to other formats for all your ereading devices! ~~
From the Editor's Preface:
Number Nip may be a name unfamiliar to most, but his character originates from pagan times and has been the subject of countless legends and fairytales. Often called Rübezahl in German folklore, he was first mentioned in print in a 1565 poem by Franz von Koeckritz titled Ribicinia. Stories about Rübezahl were written down throughout the 17th Century, and in the 18th Century, Musäus collected five of these tales in his Legenden vom Rübezahl. It is from Musäus' work that Mark Lemon adapted this collection of "legends," giving the German Gnome the moniker Number Nip.
Gnomes commonly embody the concept of "shadow" in fairytales, embodying human vice, and Number Nip is no exception. Number Nip may be the earliest written version of the Gnome King who commands an underground domain full of riches inaccessible to humans who dwell above ground. The character of the Gnome King (sometimes spelled without a "G") has been co-opted by many authors of fairytales, including George MacDonald and L. Frank Baum. Though Gnomes are often portrayed as a noble race living in concert with nature, the Gnome King is almost always the chief antagonist of any story he appears in. True to form, Number Nip scorns mankind even though he cannot help his infatuation with humans, and leaves his domain to interfere with the lives of people-- often those he most covets or recognizes as virtuous in some way.