An Ancient Tale. Novel of Polish history (in Polish Stara baśń. Powieść z dziejów Polski) - is a historical novel by popular 19th-century Polish writer Józef Ignacy Kraszewski published by Gebethner i Wolff (Gebethner & Wolff Publishers) in 1876 in Warsaw, then part of the Russian Empire. This work was the first novel in Kraszewski's long series of historical novels dealing with various periods in Poland's history. The second edition was published in 1879, in a lavishly illustrated form, with the plates done by then popular illustrator Michał Elwiro Andriolli. The manuscript of the novel was destroyed during World War II.
The content of the novel refers to old Polish stories and legends, including one about a cruel ruler prince, Popiel. He is one of the novel's main characters, though the author calls him "Chwostek". The story takes place during the dimly known times of pre-Christian Poland, in the lands of the pagan Polans tribe.
The first theme of the novel is the political str