- scholarship, historian
- later years & death
- the fairy books
- textual sources & style
- critical reputation,psychial research
- work and summary
- adaptation & influence
Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books are a series of 25 collections of true and fictional stories for children published between 1889 and 1913. The best known books of the series are the 12 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. He made most of the selections, while his wife and other translators did a large portion of the translating and retelling of the actual stories, as acknowledged in the prefaces. Four of the volumes from 1908 to 1912 were published 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 12 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, and the sequels alone.A. Wallis Mills also contributed some illustrations.
“The Orange Fairy Book” delves into the oral traditions of Rhodesia, Uganda, and the American Indian; the traditions of the Punjab and of Jutland; and such familiar European sources of Hans Christian Andersen ( “The Ugly Duckling” ) and Madam d’Aulnoy ( “The White Doe” ) for its 33 stories. But it is not important that the lad climbing the tree to a cloud kingdom is an Indian brave rather than Jack, or that the giant-killer Makoma is African. The events are familiar favorites with children the world over.