Giambattista Basile

(1575 - 1632)

Giambattista Basile left Naples when he was fifteen years old and worked as a soldier of fortune in Venice. He was soon sent to Crete, where he served under nobleman Andrea Cornaro, who invited him to join the Accademia degli Stravaganti. Basile did, assuming the title of Il Pigro, “the lazy one.” After returning to Naples in 1608 for a government career, he became interested in the local folklore. The Tale of Tales, his collection of fifty tales written in Neapolitan dialect, was among the first authored fairy-tale collections in Europe and was published two years after his death in 1632.

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