In the late 19th century, historian, scholar, and anthropologist, Andrew Lang, began publishing collections of fairy tales from around the world. Lang wrote a number of books of fairy tales and differentiated each from the other by color; for example, this one is green, another is pink, another is blue, and others yellow, grey, brown, and lilac. The book contains several dozen tales. They are generally fitting for young children, with one exception. The Danish story The Princess and the Chest should not be read to a nervous child, Lang suggests, because "it rather borders on a ghost story." There are also stories from Sweden, Japan, Sicily, Africa, Germany, and France. Lang makes sure that in his tales the good people always win out at the end and the bad suffer. He urges his readers to be kind, for kindness always brings good in fairy tales. Frequently, everything seems to be going wrong, the hero seems to be about to lose what he or she wants so much, a princess or money. But then the hero encounters an old man or an old woman, usually appearing very poor. The person asks for help, such as food or lodging. The hero gives it and is rewarded with something magic that resolves all of the hero's problems.
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Andrew Lang (1844 –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 for him. Lang's earliest publication was a volume of metrical experiments, The Ballads and Lyrics of Old France, and this was followed at intervals by other volumes of dainty verse, Ballades in Blue China, enlarged edition, Ballads and Verses Vain, selected by Mr. Austin Dobson; Rhymes à la Mode, Grass of Parnassus, Ban and Arrière Ban, New Collected Rhymes. Lang was active as a journalist in various ways, ranging from sparkling "leaders" for the Daily News to miscellaneous articles for the Morning Post, and for many years he was literary editor of Longman's Magazine; no critic was in more request, whether for occasional articles and introductions to new editions or as editor of dainty reprints. He edited The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, and was responsible for the Life and Letters of JG Lockhart, and The Life, Letters and Diaries of Sir Stafford Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh. Lang discussed literary subjects with the same humor and acidity that marked his criticism of fellow folklorists, in Books and Bookmen, Letters to Dead Authors, Letters on Literature, etc.
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