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The Orange Fairy Book

Andrew Lang

Book Overview: 

Andrew Lang's Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Fairy Books constitute 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 (with the notable exception of Madame d'Aulnoy), 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: 
. . .If, however, you do as I bid you, she will become herself a bundle of sticks.'

Ian Direach hearkened to the words of Gille Mairtean, and his stepmother fell as a bundle of sticks before him; and he set fire to her, and was free from her spells for ever. After that he married the princess, who was the best wife in all the islands of the West. Henceforth he was safe from harm, for had he not the bay colt who could leave one wind behind her and catch the other wind, and the blue falcon to bring him game to eat, and the White Sword of Light to pierce through his foes?

And Ian Direach knew that all this he owed to Gille Mairtean the fox, and he made a compact with him that he might choose any beast out of his herds, whenever hunger seized him, and that henceforth no arrow should be let fly at him or at any of his race. But Gille Mairtean the fox would take no reward for the help he had given to Ian Direach, only his friendship. Thus all things prospered w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The first Fairy Book I've read so far without any overt racism in it anywhere (and it's the antepenultimate one; sigh).

Look! The black characters get illustrated heroically and everything:


On the other hand, there are quite a few of those stories that always make me think that pre-industri

A collection of tales leaning toward the Scottish, Scandinavian and African. Some from the precieuses. One, "The Bird of Truth", left me wondering whether it was literary because it put the events out of order, which in my experience is a warning sign; folktales tend to recount in order. Though othe

Fairy tales from Northern Europe, Africa, and the Native Americans. Lots of fun to read out loud to all the kids. We enjoyed picking out other stories we “saw” within many of them. “That reminded me of Alice in Wonderland,” and so on.

The Orange Fairy Book didn't have as many great stories as many of the other Fairy Books, but there were still plenty of unusual tales and fantastic illustrations, enough to make it worth my time. There are also a lot of rather unhappy endings in this collection, but those stories were some of the

I first encountered the Lang collection, often called the Colored Fairy Books because of their titles (Blue, Olive, Crimson, etc.) when I was in elementary school. I enjoyed them because they were so different from the sanitized, prissy princess, modern versions, and I'm happy to see them now availa

I read the fairy books for writing inspiration. I didn't need any when I started this one, but that was only because I have 2 stories being written, 1 clamoring in my head like a bird... and about ten more in various stages. But my reading group has a food challenge...

And I can never quite pass up a

This was a fun read, and I got to see a lot of new stories.

Unfortunately most of the stories were the same basic formula so it got boring towards the end. I know a lot of fairytales are like that but when there's so many in a row is harder to appreciate them individually.

As a child, I read this over and over and over again. I remember my parents bought it for me at the little shop attached to a restaurant called The Light of Yoga, which had peanut butter soft serve ice cream and lots of things with sprouts on them. They unfortunately burned down a long time ago.

I very much enjoyed this collection which presents fairytales that are a bit less familiar. Most seem to hail from Africa and Northern Europe, and they are just as blood-thirsty as those in the previous volumes of the series. The series itself is s brilliant concept. I believe Andrew Lange and his w

What Alan Lomax is to multicultural folk songs, Andrew Lang is to folk stories. #aintnoschoolliketheoldschool

Seriously, there are so many thugs from so many cultures. Giants, greedy baboons, literal rock dudes made of Mountains, Kings who make deals which turn into bad bargains...and boys sent off t

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