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The Olive Fairy Book

Andrew Lang

Book Overview: 

Andrew Lang’s Olive Fairy Book was a beautifully produced and illustrated edition of fairy tales that has become a classic. This was one of many other collections of fairy tales, collectively known as Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I know where she is and what she [Pg 59] is doing; while, as for Youri, I cannot tell if he is dead or alive.’

The gnomes were all silent. Kind as they were, they were not mortals, and had never felt either great joys or deep sorrows. Only King Loc dimly guessed at something of both, and he went away to consult an old, old gnome, who lived in the lowest depth of the mountain, and had spectacles of every sort, that enabled him to see all that was happening, not only on the earth, but under the sea.

Nur, for such was his name, tried many of these spectacles before he could discover anything about Youri de Blanchelande.

‘There he is!’ he cried at last. ‘He is sitting in the palace of the Undines, under the great lake; but he does not like his prison, and longs to be back in the world, doing great deeds.’

It was true. In the seven years that had passed since he had left the castle of Clarides to go w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book is one of my favorites in the Lang collection because all of the stories are so unique and non-formulaic, though, of course, there are themes that appear in many fairy tales. The only story I dislike is The Billy Goat and the King which, though I'm not a feminist, does grate on me. Most...more

A mix of tales leaning toward India and the Middle East. "The Green Knight" gives us a new and different promise a dying queen should not extract from her husband. "The Prince and Princess in the Forest" and "The Silent Princess" are unusual tales. Several literary French ones -- which I was, by...more

These traditional fairy tale stories are rich in character building qualities. The sun may shine purple and zebras may be blue and green polka dots but however fantastical the imagined world may be the stories retain a faithfulness to the moral order of the actual universe. The characters in the...more

Sadly, this collection ran more in the way of The Billy Goat And The King, in which the happy ending comes in the form of a wise old goat teaching the King to better control his wife by threatening to beat the poor woman. I'm afraid neither women or men come out of the grand majority of these sto...more

As before with the Blue Book, many of these were long in length. I didn't recognize most of these, but my favorite new one is probably The Billy Goat and the King just because the characters amused me - the king with his giggles and the wife with her suspicious glares.

Want a perfect life and hap...more

I'm almost done with these and I honestly can't wait cause it's getting very repetitive.

Andrew Lang's Colored Fairy Books are classics that I somehow missed as a child. This particular volume has a number of Armenian, Turkish, and South Asian tales in addition to European ones.

all of the books in this series are great... fairy tales, fairy tales, fairy tales... absurd and wonderful and oddly familiar...

uh, this is a 5-star book, but my stars aren't working right now.

At this point in the series, Lang must have long run out of the more familiar stories and casted further abroad for this 11th(!) installment of the Fairy Book series. If the volume is somewhat lacking in first-rate tales as a result, it largely makes up for this in freshness. There's also a gener...more

I got this book for Christmas. It's definitely my favorite of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books. I was lucky enough to get an illustrated version. The pictures are beautiful and the stories are entertaining.

My favorite stories:
- The Blue Parrot (my favorite one of all)
- The Story of Little King Loc
- Kupt...more

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