It would be a longer story than all the "Stories from Wagner" put together, to tell where these tales began and how they grew. Centuries before they were set to music in the soul of Richard Wagner, some of them had been chanted around rude camp-fires by savage-looking men clad in the skins of animals. They were repeated by word of mouth long before even the rudest art of writing was learned; and in various lands they were known, though the stories often differed. For in those days men believed in spirits, good and bad, and in giants, dwarfs, gods and goddesses. They told these stories to their children, just as real history is taught to-day; and later the legends were treasured not only for their deep interest but also because they showed how people lived and thought, long ago "while the world was in the making." When Wagner, the great music-dramatist of Germany, was writing his wonderful operas, he found much of this rich material lying ready at his hand. Other parts he adapted to suit his needs. And it is the form in which he used the tales that has been followed in the simple retelling in the present volume; hence the justice of the title-"Stories from Wagner." Let us pause a moment to see who this author was, and how he came to collect his themes.
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About the Author
J. Walker McSpadden (Joseph Walker) 1874-1960 was the author of STORIES OF ROBIN HOOD" "STORIES FROM DICKENS""STORIES FROM CHAUCER" ETC.