the nursery tale, is from the French Le Petit Poucet, by
Charles Perrault (1630), but it is probably of Anglo-Saxon origin.
There is in the Bodleian Library a ballad about Tom Thumb, “printed for
John Wright in 1630.”
The son of a common ploughman and his wife, who was knighted by
King Arthur, and was killed by the poisonous breath of a spider, in the
reign of King Thunstone, the successor of Arthur. (Nursery tale.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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