Thursday 29 February 2024

Away with the Langs' Fairies

Lot 24.

The Langs' Fairy Books by Andrew Lang (1844-1912), including first editions for 'The Pink Fairy', 1897 and 'The Orange Fairy', 1906, others include 'Grey Fairy', 'Violet Fairy', 'Lilac Fairy', 'Crimson Fairy', 'Red Fairy', 'The Blue Fairy' and 'The Olive Fairy' (9)

Estimate £300 - £400

For auction 6th March 2024

The Langs' Fairy Books are a collection of true and fictional stories for children, published between 1889 and 1913 by Andrew Lang and his wife Leonora Blanche Alleyne.  Leonora was an author, editor and translator who assumed editorial control of the series in the 1890s while her husband Andrew edited the series and wrote the prefaces.  

The authorship and translation of the Coloured Fairy Books is often and incorrectly attributed to Andrew Lang alone. Nora is not named on the front cover or spines of any of the Coloured Fairy Books, which all tout Andrew as their editor. However, as Andrew acknowledges in a preface to The Lilac Fairy Book (1910), "The fairy books have been almost wholly the work of Mrs. Lang, who has translated and adapted them from the French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and other languages."  

The Langs did not collect any fairy tales from oral primary sources, however only they and Madame d'Aulnoy (1651-1705) have collected such a large variety of sources.  The Langs indeed gave many of the tales their first appearance in the English language.

The Pink Fairy Book (1897) contains 41 Japanese, Scandinavian and Sicilian tales.

  • "The Cat's Elopement"
  • "How the Dragon Was Tricked"
  • "The Goblin and the Grocer"
  • "The House in the Wood"
  • "Urashimataro and the Turtle"
  • "The Slaying of the Tanuki"
  • "The Flying Trunk"
  • "The Snow Man"
  • "The Shirt-Collar"
  • "The Princess in the Chest"
  • "The Three Brothers"
  • "The Snow-queen"
  • "The Fir-Tree"
  • "Hans, the Mermaid's Son"
  • "Peter Bull"
  • "The Bird 'Grip'"
  • "Snowflake"
  • "I Know What I Have Learned"
  • "The Cunning Shoemaker"
  • "The King Who Would Have a Beautiful Wife"
  • "Catherine and Her Destiny"
  • "How the Hermit Helped to Win the King's Daughter"
  • "The Water of Life"
  • "The Wounded Lion"
  • "The Man Without a Heart"
  • "The Two Brothers"
  • "Master and Pupil"
  • "The Golden Lion"
  • "The Sprig of Rosemary"
  • "The White Dove"
  • "The Troll's Daughter"
  • "Esben and the Witch"
  • "Princess Minon-Minette"
  • "Maiden Bright-eye"
  • "The Merry Wives"
  • "King Lindworm"
  • "The Jackal, the Dove, and the Panther"
  • "The Little Hare"
  • "The Sparrow with the Slit Tongue"
  • "The Story of Ciccu"
  • "Don Giovanni de la Fortuna"

The Orange Fairy Book (1906) includes 33 tales from Jutland, Rhodesia, Uganda and other European traditions

  • The Story of the Hero Makoma"
  • "The Magic Mirror"
  • "Story of the King who would see Paradise"
  • "How Isuro the Rabbit tricked Gudu"
  • "Ian, the Soldier's Son"
  • "The Fox and the Wolf"
  • "How Ian Direach got the Blue Falcon"
  • "The Ugly Duckling"
  • "The Two Caskets"
  • "The Goldsmith's Fortune"
  • "The Enchanted Wreath"
  • "The Foolish Weaver"
  • "The Clever Cat"
  • "The Story of Manus Pinkel the Thief"
  • "The Adventures of a Jackal"
  • "The Adventures of the Jackal's Eldest Son"
  • "The Adventures of the Younger Son of the Jackal"
  • "The Three Treasures of the Giants"
  • "The Rover of the Plain"
  • "The White Doe"
  • "The Girl-Fish"
  • "The Owl and the Eagle"
  • "The Frog and the Lion Fairy"
  • "The Adventures of Covan the Brown-haired"
  • "The Princess Bella-Flor"
  • "The Bird of Truth"
  • "The Mink and the Wolf"
  • "Adventures of an Indian Brave"
  • "How the Stalos were Tricked"
  • "Andras Baive"
  • "The White Slipper"
  • "The Magic Book"

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