Andrew Lang's Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Fairy Books constitute a twelve-book series of fairy tale collections. Although Andrew Lang did not collect the stories himself from the oral tradition, the extent of his sources, who had collected them originally (with the notable exception of Madame d'Aulnoy), made them an immensely influential collection, especially as he used foreign-language sources, giving many of these tales their first appearance in English. As acknowledged in the prefaces, although Lang himself made most of the selections, his wife and other translators did a large portion of the translating and telling of the actual stories. The Blue Fairy Book assembled a wide range of tales, with seven from the Brothers Grimm, five from Madame d'Aulnoy, three from the Arabian Nights, and four Norse stories, among other sources.
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It is almost impossible to envision what childhood would be like without the enchanting world of fairyland. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, giants and dwarfs, monsters and magicians, fairies and ogres—these are the companions who will thrill young boys and girls of all lands and all times, as Andrew Lang's phenomenally successful collections of stories have proved. From the day that they were first printed, the Lang fairy tale books of many colors have entertained thousands of boys and girls, as they have also brought pleasure to the many parents who have read these unforgettable classics to their children.
The Blue Fairy Book was the first volume in the series and so it contains some of the best known tales, taken from a variety of sources: not only from Grimm, but exciting adventures by Charles Perrault and Madame d'Aulnoy, The Arabian Nights, and other stories from popular traditions. Here in one attractive paperbound volume—with enlarged print—are "Sleeping Beauty," "Rumpelstiltskin," "Beauty and the Beast," "Hansel and Gretel," "Puss in Boots," "Trusty John," "Jack the Giantkiller," "Goldilocks," and many other favorites that have become an indispensable part of our cultural heritage.
All in all, this collection contains 37 stories, all narrated in the clear, lively prose for which Lang was famous. Not only are Lang's generally conceded to be the best English versions of standard stories, his collections are the richest and widest in range. His position as one of England's foremost folklorists as well as his first-rate literary abilities makes his collections unmatchable in the English language. Unabridged and unaltered republication of first (1891) edition.
Andrew Lang (31 March 1844 – 20 July 1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him.
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