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The Lilac Fairy Book

Andrew Lang

Book Overview: 

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 originally), made them an immensely influential collection, especially as he used foreign-language sources, giving many of these 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 telling of the actual stories.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .neat porch and clean steps, which are always strewn with finely-cut juniper leaves, Walter's parents live. His brother Frederick, his sister Lotta, old Lena, Jonas, Caro and Bravo, Putte and Murre, and Kuckeliku.

Caro lives in the dog house, Bravo in the stable, Putte with the stableman, Murre a little here and a little there, and Kuckeliku lives in the hen house, that is his kingdom.

Walter is six years old, and he must soon begin to go to school. He cannot read yet, but he can do many other things. He can turn cartwheels, stand on his head, ride see-saw, throw snowballs, play ball, crow like a cock, eat bread and butter and drink sour milk, tear his[Pg 68] trousers, wear holes in his elbows, break the crockery in pieces, throw balls through the windowpanes, draw old men on important papers, walk over the flower-beds, eat himself sick with gooseberries, and be well after a whipping. For the rest he has a good heart but a bad memory, and forgets his fat. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is the same review I posted from "The Blue Fairy Book", as it applies to both...
Many earlier fairy tales are more colorful than their modern counterparts. When I was a child, I was fascinated by these stories. One day, my Dad told me that many of the earlier, or original fairy tales were dark

A mix of far fetched tales. A couple are not actually fairy tales at all but tales of a child's imaginative adventures -- and I'm afraid, not very good of the type. A number of Scottish and Irish ones, I particularly like "The Hoodie Crow" -- and I suspect that many of these were first collected no

The fairy tales never lose their charm or their power to fuel the imagination. There are standard tropes and rules that fairy tales follow, yet it doesn't bore me. Lessons can be learned from these stories, while enjoying a time that never was.

This entire series is fantastic, but this is the first volume that I have read in its entirety. The illustrations are beautiful (although not very culturally accurate) and the stories diverse. This is nice escapist folklore with plenty of quests, spells, rescues and happily-ever-afters. Unfortunatel

I'm so glad I finished the series ! It was interesting to see all these different fairy tales but after a while they are very repetitive.

It's difficult to review these books objectively (as it is to review any book, really). I find most people either enjoy fairytales or don't.

There is no good way to judge the writing, because they are edited versions of old tales handed down verbally from long ago.

But I CAN say that I love them, ev

I did it. I finally read all 12 of the Fairy books!


I found this installment to be a lot more uneven than the other fairy books. A lot of the stories crossed over into folk tale territory (and the difference stands out). There were also about 3 stories from the King Arthur and his court tales an

About 2, maybe 3? years ago, I set myself the goal of reading all the color fairy tale collections edited by Andrew Lang. I vaguely remembered reading some of them when I was in elementary school, but I don't recall too many of the stories.

I was inspired to do this by Robin McKinley, who is one of

As in most of the other Andrew Lang Fairy Books I've read, the stories can sometimes be repetitive and predictable, since there are often multiple variations of the same basic story throughout the world, and the language can be a bit thick to wade through at times. However, there are enough charming

So, I'm working through all these fairy books. This one however isn't very memorable. Fairly generic stories, and not any of the more popular ones and not any that I would wish were more popular. Same story lines prevalent in all the various tales. So this one you could probably skip in the series.

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