The Grey Fairy Book – Andrew Lang
Having stripped the rainbow of its primary colors for titles for his annual collection of fairy-tales, Mr. Lang was forced to employ a neutral tint. Besides “The Red Fairy Book,” we have had a Blue, a Yellow, a Green, and a Pink, a ” Blue Poetry Book,” a ” Red True Story Book,” and a ” Red Book of Animal Stories.” A ” True Blue Fairy Book” should have found a place in the series; but this Grey one is negative only in its name and its hue. The stories themselves are full of action and color. They are gathered together from Lithuania and France, from Africa and Germany and Greece, and not only does Mr. Lang stand sponsor for the volume, but Mrs. Lang and Miss Lang have helped translate and adapt it.
The Grey Fairy 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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