The Animal Story Book – Andrew Lang
If anyone believes that style does not appeal to the young readers, let him open Mr. Andrew Langs „The Animal Story Book“, and read to any intelligent child of nine years Dumas‘ description of Mysouf I., Mysouf II., and Pritchard, and note how soon Dumas becomes a living personality to the child. Then let him turn and read, out of the same book, the account of “ Cowper and his Hares.“ Bess and Puss and Tiney were doubtless as interesting in their way as the dogs and cats and monkeys owned by Dumas; but the child does not care for them – he begs you to read more from Dumas. Young as the child is, Dumas has cast a spell around him – the spell of a sparkling and animated style. Mr. Lang’s “ Animal Story Book “ ought to delight both old and young, as one may find therein pen-portraits of most of the remarkable animals that have interested the world since primitive times. And because authors are, as a class, peculiarly fond of animals, the reader of this charming book is brought into intimate relations with Pliny, Théophile Gautier, and many other remarkable men.
The Animal Story Book.
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Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books (from Wikipedia):
Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books are a series of twenty-five collections of true and fictional stories for children, published between 1889 and 1913. The best known books of the series are the twelve collections of fairy tales, known as Andrew Lang’s „Coloured“ Fairy Books or Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books of Many Colors. In all, the volumes feature 798 stories, besides the 153 poems in The Blue Poetry Book.
Andrew Lang (1844–1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, and literary critic. 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 retelling of the actual stories. Four of the later volumes (from 1908 to 1912) were published as by „Mrs. Lang“.
According to Anita Silvey, „The irony of Lang’s life and work is that although he wrote for a profession—literary criticism; fiction; poems; books and articles on anthropology, mythology, history, and travel … he is best recognized for the works he did not write.“
The twelve Coloured Fairy Books were illustrated by H. J. Ford (Henry Justice Ford), the first two volumes shared with G. P. Jacomb-Hood and Lancelot Speed respectively, the sequels alone. Several other volumes were illustrated by Ford.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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