The Nursery Rhyme Book – Andrew Lang
The babes of former generations were certainly lucky, for they possessed quite the best book of nursery rhymes which has ever been published. „The Nursery Rhyme Book“ by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke is a complete collection of the old nursery rhymes which have delighted so many generations, adorned with attractive pictures and accompanied by a preface written in one of Mr. Lang’s most engaging moods. The preface, of course, is not for the little ones, but for the mothers, whose duty it is to read the rhymes- and show the pictures. We do not know [says Mr. Lang] what poets wrote the old nursery rhymes, but certainly some of them were written down, or even printed, three hundred years ago. Grandmothers have sung them to their grandchildren, and they again to theirs, for many centuries. We did not know till we studied Mr. Lang’s table of contents that nursery rhymes may be divided into fourteen different kinds ; but they may, and Mr. Lang gives them all and discourses sweetly on many of them. No nursery which respects itself should be without this fascinating book.
The Nursery Rhyme 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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