The Olive Fairy Book
Fairies, sprites, brownies, pixies and other tiny mythical creatures have featured in the folklore of many nations over the years. Publishers, writers, anthologists and illustrators have also embraced the tales of the wee people and have retold them again and again.
Some cultures believe they are a subclass of the dead while others see them as spirits of the air, water or earth. Often these small creatures are playful, but they can also be evil and malicious with questionable motives – it pays not to cross a fairy.
A particularly famous collection from this intriguing genre was Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books series. They contained many of the classic fairy stories Lang grew up reading in the rural Scottish Borders, as well as doses of the violent and mischievous side of the little beasts. The 12 books were published beginning in 1889, with The Blue Fairy Book, and concluded with The Lilac Fairy Book in 1910.
The rich art of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac brought traditional, classical fairies to life for millions of readers, while more modern illustrators like Brian Froud often take a humorous approach to the subject as seen in Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book.Whether you’re a devout fairy-fan, a strict non-believer or just curious, this genre is highly collectible thanks to beautiful illustrations and memorable tales.