Image of Andrew Lang


Lifetime: 1844 - 1912 Passed: ≈ 111 years ago


Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic, Anthropologist



Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang was a Scottish 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 after him.

Lang was born in 1844 in Selkirk, Scottish Borders. He was the eldest of the eight children born to John Lang, the town clerk of Selkirk, and his wife Jane Plenderleath Sellar, who was the daughter of Patrick Sellar, factor to the first Duke of Sutherland. On 17 April 1875, he married Leonora Blanche Alleyne, youngest daughter of C. T. Alleyne of Clifton and Barbados. She was (or should have been) variously credited as author, collaborator, or translator of Lang's Color/Rainbow Fairy Books which he edited.

He was educated at Selkirk Grammar School, Loretto School, and the Edinburgh Academy, as well as the University of St Andrews and Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a first class in the final classical schools in 1868, becoming a fellow and subsequently honorary fellow of Merton College. He soon made a reputation as one of the most able and versatile writers of the day as a journalist, poet, critic, and historian. He was a member of the Order of the White Rose, a Neo-Jacobite society which attracted many writers and artists in the 1890s and 1900s. In 1906, he was elected FBA.

He died of angina pectoris on 20 July 1912 at the Tor-na-Coille Hotel in Banchory, Banchory, survived by his wife. He was buried in the cathedral precincts at St Andrews, where a monument can be visited in the south-east corner of the 19th century section.

Books by Andrew Lang

The Blue Fairy Book Cover image

The Blue Fairy Book

Fiction Fairy Tale
Animal Nature Short Stories Legend Myths

Published in 1889, The Blue Fairy Book is the first book in the series of story collections known as Andrew Lang's “Coloured” Fairy Books, which bring to life the classic fairytales by Grimm, Madame d'Aulnoy and Perrault among other folklore sources....

The Yellow Fairy Book Cover image

The Yellow Fairy Book

Fiction Fairy Tale
Children's Literature Short Stories

Published in 1894, The Yellow Fairy Book is the fourth installment in the series of fairytale collections known as Andrew Lang's “Coloured” Fairy Books and is comprised of stories collected from various foreign language sources including French, Germ...

The Arabian Nights Entertainments Cover image

The Arabian Nights Entertainments

Fiction Fairy Tale
Folktales Myths Arabian Culture Legends

The Arabian Nights is a collection of Perso-Arabic folk tales and other stories. The collection, or at least certain stories drawn from it (or purporting to be drawn from it), became widely known in the West from the 18th century, after it was transl...

He by Andrew Lang Cover image

He by Andrew Lang

Fiction Humour Novel

This book is a parody of the famous swashbuckling novel, She, by H. Rider Haggard.

 A Short History of Scotland Cover image

A Short History of Scotland

History Non-Fiction
Antiquity Middle Ages

A Short History of Scotland is a concise introduction to the history of Scotland from Roman times to the last Jacobite rebellion, written by the author of a much longer Scottish history.

Letters to Dead Authors Cover image

Letters to Dead Authors

Epistolary Letters Criticism

With twenty two letters, addressed to various already deceased authors, Andrew Lang discusses literary subjects with his usual humour and acidity. The impulse for the writing of the letters came, almost as a joke, from the editor of the 'St. James's...

The Crimson Fairy Book  Cover image

The Crimson Fairy Book

Fairy Tale
Short Story Religion Children Children's Literature Mythology Folktales Myths Geography Legends

The Crimson Fairy Book contains thirty-six stories collected from around the world and edited by Andrew Lang. Many tales in this book are translated, or adapted, from those told by mothers and nurses in Hungary; others are familiar to Russian nurseri...

The Violet Fairy Book  Cover image

The Violet Fairy Book

Fairy Tale
Beauty Myths Classics Legends Criticism Poetry

The Langs' Fairy Books are a series of 25 collections of true and fictional stories for children published between 1889 and 1913 by Andrew Lang and his wife, Leonora Blanche Alleyne. The best known books of the series are the 12 collections of fairy...

The Story of Joan of Arc  Cover image

The Story of Joan of Arc

War Biography
Military Folk Autobiography Christianity England Saints Catholicism

The story begins in the early 1400 hundreds and Joan of Arc being a child with thirteen years old and one day she was outside and she hears something to, go to her mother, but then she hears someone that to go to general of France and that she will f...

The Lilac Fairy Book Cover image

The Lilac Fairy Book

Fairy Tale
Children Children's Literature Anthology Myths Classics Legends

Andrew Lang's Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Fairy Books are a twelve-book series of fairy tale collections. Although Andrew Lang did not collect the stories himself from the oral tradition, the extent of his sources (who had collected them...

The Red Fairy Book Cover image

The Red Fairy Book

Fairy Tale
Children Children's Literature Folk Legend Myths British

The Red Fairy Book is the second in a series of twelve books known as Andrew Lang's Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Books. The series was immensely popular and proved of great influence in children's literature, increasing the popularity of f...

He's Cover image


Loyalty Parody Humorous Fiction

This book is a parody of the famous swashbuckling novel, She, by H. Rider Haggard.

The Blue Poetry Book Cover image

The Blue Poetry Book

Sonnet Romantic Beauty Anthology Poems Reflection Myths Experiences

It is a timeless anthology that showcases the beauty of poetry through a range of styles and themes. Each poem is carefully selected and presented in Lang's eloquent and engaging style, making it accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds. The...

A Collection of Ballads Cover image

A Collection of Ballads

Adventure Culture Poems Heritage Classics Verses Songs Ballads

A Collection of Ballads is a treasury of classic and lesser-known ballads from around the world. It is a must-have for anyone who loves poetry and storytelling. Andrew Lang's A Collection of Ballads is a classic anthology of ballads from around the...

Lost Leaders Cover image

Lost Leaders

Short Story Biography Literary Criticism Leader Historical Memory Cultural Traditions

In the world of literature, there exists a fascinating realm of forgotten figures, those luminous minds and influential souls who, despite their brilliance, have slipped into the shadows of history. "Lost Leaders" by Andrew Lang is a captivating expl...