Tales from the Land Under the Sea

Tales from the Land Under the Sea, by Amos Brooks-Marsh
Illustrations by E. Gertrude Thomson
London, 1901

According to my researches, a cheap, cut reprint by Chancelor Press (in the omnibus "Uncollected Fairy Tales, 1987) is curently out of print.

Description: a large format, hardbound collection of second-rate fairy tales (15 in all, plus Foreword and Illustrator's Note), often blatant rewrites of well-known standards by unknown New England writer. Some items are noteworthy nonetheless:

Shore Song - The Fisher Prince woos a Mortal Woman with his song and carries her away to the underwater city of Au-iole. [the dark side of the Little Mermaid. The description of the song might give the creeps to a marine biologist]

Riding the Storm Out - prose poem describing the frolics of the mermen during a seastorm and their joining in a merry dance with the sailors from a sinking ship

Fishy - Ugly-duckling variation with a kid persecuted by his school-pals as he looks like a fish, finally turning into a powerful Merman Prince and enjoys his freedom. [incredibly dark piece, even by fairy-tale standards. Repressed sexuality imagery well hidden but still discernible in the text]

Gala Night for the Sea Lord - prose poem describing the entertainment held for King Dagon by the Sea People [some critics point out the similarity between some scenes in this lenghty piece and the underwater scenes in Disney's "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"(1971)]

When the Sea Went Away - story-within-a-story structure. Old Grandpa Marsh tells the kids of what happened when the Sea disappeared, replaced by a desert of salt, and the Sea People was saved by King Dagon and his Bride [elements, including some of the fauna depicted in two highly detailed drawings, seem to place these events in the Upper Teriary]

Five Songs - gallant Sea Prince has to learn the titular five songs to regain his rightful position in the city of Gloo. In his quest he is helped by Ecco the Dolphin. [includes simplified version of
*Contact Deep One
*Create Mist of R'lyeh

The other three "songs" have no apparent Mythos meaning]

The Dreamer - prose poem describing the busy Sea People taking care of the Dreamer (a sort of giant Santa Claus figure) in his sunken house [includes a basic, stripped-down version of Contact Cthulhu]

The 65 Thomson drawings (as stated in the Illustrator's Note) were executed many years before actual publication, and under the author's strict supervision.

Reading Informations

Reading Time - 15 stories, 3 evenings per story = 45 days

San Loss - Original 1901 Ed. - d2/d12

- Chancellor Press Ed - 0/1d6

Spell Multiplier adult x1/ pre-teen kid x3

A Note on Spells - the simplified spells present in the book seem to work better with pre-teen subjects.

This is from the Ice Cave.

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