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The Lilac Fairy Book (Dover Children's Classics) Paperback – June 1, 1968

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrew Lang (1844 1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, and literary critic. Although he did not collect the stories himself from the oral tradition, the extent of his sources, who had collected them originally with the notable exception of Madame d'Aulnoy made the collections immensely influential. Lang gave many of the tales their first appearance in English. 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 8
  • Series: Dover Children's Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (June 1, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486219070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486219073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the late 19th century, historian, scholar, and anthropologist, Andrew Lang, began publishing collections of fairy tales from around the world. The first volume was `The Blue Fairy Book' published in 1887. Lang was not a true ethnologist, like the German Brothers Grimm. He was far more the `translator' than collector of tales from the source, stories transcribed from being told by people to whom the tales were passed down by word of mouth. In fact, many stories in his first volume, such as Rumpelstiltskin; Snow White; Sleeping Beauty; Cinderella; and Hansel and Gretel were translated from Grimm's books of fairy tales. Some of his `fairy tales' were even `copied from relatively recent fantasy fiction, such as A Voyage to Lilliput, the first of the four episodes in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
My inspiration for commenting Lang's series of fairy tale books is for the sheer quantity of tales, the wonderful woodcut illustrations, some few of which may have become almost as popular as the tales (although not quite in the same league as Sir John Tenniel's illustrations for Lewis Carroll's great fantasies), and the fact that I had these when I was young.
With twelve of these books, with between 30 and 36 stories in each book, this gives one about 400 different stories. If I were to recommend anything as standard equipment at a grandparents' house, it would be a complete set of these books.
Needless to say, there are a few `warnings' to accompany books assembled over 100 years ago. You will encounter a fair number of words with which even an adult may be unfamiliar, let alone a five year old. For example, on the second page of The Princess Mayblossom in The Red Fairy Book, a character puts sulfur in a witch's porridge. This requires at least three explanations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This particular sample of Lang's collections is another treasure, as always, expanding beyond the more well-known stories (although they are certainly not ignored!) to Arthurian legends and Indian tales. Stories from a variety of countries are included, and randomly put together rather than organized by country. It makes a straight-through reading a blast, like a wild tour around the world. The illustrations, as always, are masterpieces in themselves.
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By A Customer on September 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Andrew Lang collections are well worth it. I read them when I was a child (bless that library) and when I saw them for sale I couldn't resist. The stories have retained their freshness and it is interesting to see similar themes dealt with by different cultures.
These would be great for parents reading to their children or for children looking for something interesting and fun to read.
Definitely worth it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Among other books, Andrew Lang (1844-1912) wrote twelve books of fairy tales that he differentiated one from the other by color; for example, this one is lilac, another is grey, another is green, another pink, another is blue, and others yellow, and brown. This book contains tales written by others, but which Lang collected. He says he is much like Adam, who Mark Twain said superintended the work in the Garden of Eden, while Eve did the work. Actually, he corrects himself, the tales were originally not written, they preceded writing. They are tales invented by ancient, probably Egyptian grandmothers who told the stories to their grandchildren. The Greek Homer knew the stories and gathered them together and made up his book "Odyssey" out of many of them. Shakespeare also used these stories for his plays. People who invent new fairy tales, he writes, never succeed. The stories in this volume come from Asia, Ireland, Portugal, and other countries. Most of them were collected and translated by Mrs. Lang.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite fairy tale author. I read his books from elementary school to current and am never bored with the stories. This is a must read for anyone who loves fairy tales! And definitely a book for any children's library.
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This book features mainly stories from the British Isles and translated from romance languages (by Lang’s wife), along with a few tales from the Australia, Africa, and other places. My favorite is “The King of the Waterfalls” (from WEST HIGHLAND TALES, also the source of some other good stories), in which a young king competes in games against the Gruagach (“a kind of wicked fairy”). The story is complex and entertaining in itself and also exemplifies many typical plot elements and characters in sets of three. For example, the hero gets advice on choosing an unlikely reward (such as a supposedly ugly woman) and can call on animal helpers (a dog, a hawk, and an otter) in specific situations. His wife learns the true location of the giant’s soul/heart in order to destroy him by asking him three times and responding with apparent solicitude to the first two false answers (a common theme). As in the other Lang books, the documentation is minimal. But all of them include at least some intriguing and unfamiliar stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What could be a better title for fairy tale book than "The Lilac Fairy Book?" It's a treasure and the kind of light read that simply insists on a hot mug of mulled cider and a warm fire.
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