Joseph Jacobs was born in Australia in 1854 and spent the majority of his adult life in England, where he co-founded the English Folk Lore Society with Andrew Lang in 1878. He spent ten years gathering fairy stories from storytellers and printed sources, which were first published in two volumes in 1890 and 1894 and are currently available in one volume in the Everyman's Library. Jacobs was a cheery man who had a practical approach to fairy tales, which he saw as primarily colloquial rather than romantic. Though he used a rigorous approach to collecting and recording material, he told the stories in a way that was intended for young audiences, and he tested them on his own three children. In 1916, he passed away.