Children today may have come to associate fairy tales with big budget live action films or iconic Disney cartoons, but in fact the tradition of fairy tales predates even the written word. Before Disney, and even before the widely known fairy tale collectors like Charles Perrault, the Grimm brothers and Hans Christian Andersen, these fantastical stories for children and adults (many tales in fact were much more gruesome than the versions we know today, with the content being made more child friendly as the decades went on), were passed on by minstrels or elders.
One of the first people to collate and record some of these tales, which are normally associated with the north of Europe was in fact an Italian, Straparola. Giovanni Francesco, known as Straparola (babbler) was born in 1480 in Caravaggio in Italy, and during his life he collated 75 folkloristic tales into two volumes: Le Piacevoli Notti published between 1550 and 1553, later published in English with the title The Facetious Nights of Straparola. Many of these stories that are now classic fairy tales, including Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast and The Golden Goose.