The Red Fairy Book
by Andrew Lang
'The Red Fairy Book' Summary
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 tales also 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 was a Scots poet, novelist, and literary critic. He initially edited the series and wrote prefaces for its entire run, while his wife, the translator and author Leonora Blanche Alleyne known to friends and family as Nora, assumed editorial control of the series in the 1890s. She 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 Henry Justice Ford, with credit for the first two volumes shared by G. P. Jacomb-Hood and Lancelot Speed, respectively. A. Wallis Mills also contributed some illustrations.
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