The Red Fairy Book

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The tales are marvelous, the illustrations beautiful, and the imagination they together spur priceless. Andrew Lang and the translators that worked with him have held me in their thrall for all of these years. The influence they've had on my life and imagination has been more than powerful. When I need a bit of inspiration, the Andrew Lang fairy series is one of the first places I go.

That Dover has provided these beautiful reproductions is a huge gift to the world, one from which I've long benefited.

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The Red Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang : contents

One person found this helpful. Beautiful book with many wonderful stories you will remember from your childhood and many new ones from around the world with gorgeous illustrations throughout. This is the second in the set that I have purchased, already owning the Blue Fairy Book. Looking forward to expanding my collection with the other editions in this wonderful condition and at the great price. Well worth the money! My mom asked for this book for Christmas and wanted the original illustrations and this edition was the closest I could find.

While the story and the art were right, the drawings were smaller than the original version. It would be helpful if in the sample of the book showed the size of the illustrations. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. A Must Have fairy tale book for the family. Great writing and w the great stories come great illustrations as good as masterpieces for readers to give wings to their imagination. There's three books in the series, the blue, the green and the red.


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Some criticisms have pointed out that Lang compiled the fairy tales from many sources. I still find him fun and the illustrations are beautiful. I think it's better to buy them in paper and individually. This is yet another in a fine collection of fairy tales from all around the world, and some of them might be familiar to you.

I enjoy every single one of the color fairy books, except two of which I do not have yet, the olive and gray, but shall certainly buy. These books have the magic of faerie, the classic magic of faerie. I hope everyone who loves fairy tales shall embrace these books, as they are all very well done. These books are literally perfect to sit down and read, day and night, wherever, wherever, by anyone and everyone.

In the late 19th century, historian, scholar, and anthropologist, Andrew Lang, began publishing collections of fairy tales from around the world. Lang was not a true ethnologist, like the German Brothers Grimm. 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.

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 different stories. If I were to recommend anything as standard equipment at a grandparents' house, it would be a complete set of these books. You will encounter a fair number of words with which even an adult may be unfamiliar, let alone a five year old.

This requires at least three explanations. What is sulfur, what is porridge, and why is sulfur in porridge such a bad thing. But, if you're a grandparent, that's half the fun, explaining new words and ideas to the young-uns. In these stories, lots of people and creatures get killed in very unpleasant ways, and lots of very good people and creatures suffer in very unpleasant ways.

It's ironic that the critics in Lang's own time felt the stories were 'unreality, brutality, and escapism to be harmful for young readers, while holding that such stories were beneath the serious consideration of those of mature age'. The success of a whole library of Walt Disney feature length cartoons based on these stories is a testament to how well they work with children.

But do be warned, Uncle Walt did clean things up a bit. Lang's versions hold back on very little that was ugly and unpleasant in some of these stories. The down side to the great quantity of stories is that even when some come from very different parts of the world, there is a remarkable amount of overlap in theme, plot, and characters. But by the time you get to another story of a beautiful young girl mistreated by a stepmother, it will have been several month since you read Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper in The Blue Fairy Book.

The other side of the coin is that you can play the game of trying to recall what that other story was with a similar theme. There is one very big word of caution about buying these books through Amazon or a similar on line outlet. I stopped counting when I got to twelve different editions of The Blue Fairy Book, or a volume including several of these books. Not all of these editions have the original woodcuts and even worse, not all have a table of contents and introduction.

The one publisher which has all twelve volumes is by Dover. Other publishers, such as Flying Chipmunk Publishing yes, that's it's name also have all the original illustrations, table of contents, and introduction, but I'm not certain that publisher has all twelve volumes. Dover most certainly does, as I just bought all twelve of them from Amazon.

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Again, the main attraction is that for relatively little money and space, Grammy and Grandad get a great resource for bonding with children. Just be sure you get the Dover edition or another one with all the illustrations, table of contents and other good stuff. See all 61 reviews. See all customer images. Most recent customer reviews. Published 2 months ago. Published 5 months ago. Published 7 months ago.

Published 8 months ago. Published 9 months ago. Published 10 months ago. Published 1 year ago. The witch eats the children and they all lived in a shoe. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.

Set up a giveaway. Customers who bought this item also bought. Pages with related products. See and discover other items: There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. This storyteller is into some form of hallucinogens. The Ratcatcher of Hamel - The ratcatcher plays the bagpipes and can sing in French. And can talk to rats. Except for some reason they left all their children at home.

The Golden Branch - This story has tremendously fun descriptions of magic pictures and books. He had crooked legs and squinting eyes, a large mouth all on one side, and a hunchback. Never was there a beautiful soul in such a frightful little body, but in spite of his appearance everybody loved him. Indeed, though she was the most amiable creature in the world, there was no concealing the fact that she was frightful, and so lame that she always went about with a crutch, and people called her Princess Cabbage-Stalk.

The Three Dwarfs - People decide to remarry using really odd methods will boot with hole fill with water?! Dapplegrim - Name of story is the horse, who I think is the real hero. So there's that issue. The Enchanted Canary - One of the weirder stories. For this one prince, anyway. The Twelve Brothers - Never understood this one, because 12 sons are supposedly to be put to death in favor of a girl. Usually girls have less value than boys, who inherit things. And they don't mention needing to marry her to someone. Rapunzel - Always makes me look up rampion.

The Nettle Spinner - One of the more odd stories. Still seems like the Count is the only one to benefit. Farmer Weatherbeard - We never really learn exactly what Weatherbeard is, besides bad news. Mother Holle - The best part for me is that to reach Mother Holle's land you have to fall into a well. Though I'm not big on the idea of talking bread which I'd worry about eating.

Minnikin - Weirdest part is that this is a kid who as a baby goes off to have adventures, and while still a child marries a princess. Oh and fights giant trolls and such. But seriously, a bit young to be married. The Marvelous Musician - Musician has bias against having wolf, fox, hare as friends or pupils. The Story of Sigurd - First paragraph warning: View all 9 comments. Feb 05, Hiba Arrame rated it really liked it Shelves: Another one from the colored fairy books gone, ten left. The stories are so enjoyable, especially as an audiobook.

Feb 22, Alice added it. This was a "suggested reading" book for the Charlotte Mason curriculum we are using. It is a collection of fairy tales and there are other books by the same author such as "The Blue Fairy Book". Another element that I liked was that it didn't "dumb down" the stories for children or take out the sad or scary parts. I don't like the disney type stories that infantilize children by always cre This was a "suggested reading" book for the Charlotte Mason curriculum we are using.

I don't like the disney type stories that infantilize children by always creating a happy ending or leaving out everything that might possibly be scary. A few examples from this book - trolls with nine heads, cutting off limbs, blood, etc. What I didn't like about the book was that all the "fair maidens" were described as astonishingly beautiful, the most pretty, etc etc. And the evil stepmothers were always ugly. I just really dislike the emphasis on outward appearances.

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Not sure if I'll read it to my kids yet. Or maybe I'll read it to them and sneakily omit the parts about looks. There's no telling what you'll read in these very imaginative and quite violent tales; pig-men, polygamy, fratricide, and racism are woven throughout with no action, response, or plot point too ridiculous or extreme. The moral of these stories are that all stepmothers are evil, dark or ugly is bad, and white and beautiful is good. And should these things become confused, no worries fairies will set them straight.

Oh and check twice to see if the woman in your bed is really your wife. May 18, Abby Hagler rated it it was amazing. Red Fairy Book Mixtape: Summer Nights - Marianne Faithful 2.

The Red Fairy Book

Satin in a Coffin - Modest Mouse 4. Swinging London - Magnetic Fields 5. Don't Deconstruct - Rilo Kiley 6. Piano Fire - Sparklehorse 7. Empassant - The Black Lips 9. Suit Yourself - Shout Out Louds Bones of a Man - Chad Van Gaalen Fill Your Heart - David Bowie The Wait - Pretenders Apple Bed - Sparklehorse Shape Shifter - Local Natives Runaway - The National Stop the Show - Built to Spill Nov 03, Elinor Loredan rated it really liked it Shelves: I think I like my fairy tales in smaller doses - this book felt MUCH longer to me than the page numbers would indicate.

Part of it was that lots were so similar - there were so many stories with a beautiful kind sister and an ugly mean sister. Or with handsome mean brothers and a plain kind brother - hmmm And there were many trolls with increasingly many heads that had to be killed. That said, it was fun seeing some of the classics in a more original form. I liked to see some of the older version of my favorite fairy tales! Some are boring and most are repetitive.

Mar 06, Erik rated it really liked it. This book was pretty good. I like how this is the first book where Andrew Lang really starts to branch out with translations of other authors such as the inclusion of Romanian stories and tales by Charles Deulin instead of just translating stories that have had a million previous translations. I was excited that it had five Madame d'Aulnoy stories all of which are on the list above.


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  7. That explains why the protagonist is a cowherd instead of a soldier and the black serving boys - definitely not stuff typical of the Grimms. This book also notably contains Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, here titled Snowdrop for some reason, a lot of preth century translations call her Snowdrop. Definitely an essential for fairy tale fans!

    Jun 20, Mary Catelli rated it really liked it Shelves: How I read these books when I was a child. If you are looking for an introduction to the worlds of possibility in fairy tales, it's still a a good series. And can, of course, be read in any order since it's just collections of fairy tales. Those familiar with many tales may note some of the work done to make it a children's book -- "The Death of Koschei the Deathless" more often appears under the title "Marya Morvenva" and I think was simplified a bit here from most variants I have read. Thi How I read these books when I was a child.

    This one tends heavily toward the French and Norwegian. Alas, in the French, it tends heavily toward Madame d'Aulnoy, who is definitely on th literary, not the folk, side. Some of the other French ones lean toward legends with their allusions to locations and customs.

    Also has others, from the Grimms, or Russian, and other places. Its version of "Twelve Dancing Princesses" was the one impressed on my memory; it was years before I met the Grimms' version. I think "The Wonderful Birch" was my favorite Cinderella tale as a child, and still is a good one. Over 37 stories in this one, the most I've seen so far. Jack and the Beanstalk was good but more detailed than the movies I remember.

    Rapunzel is one of the best stories but sadly short. I had to laugh at myself for missing that Snowdrop was actually Snow White, forgot about that - you have to wonder with how braindead the girl ended up being three times in a row if she deserved so much saving! Unfor Over 37 stories in this one, the most I've seen so far. Unfortunately most of these were rather dull, and there were many compared to other books. You'd think it would mean more shorter offerings, but that wasn't necessarily the case. I enjoyed this one less than the other five I've read so far. I found it so interesting to read some of the classics and see them from a different perspective to how I read them when I was younger.

    In addition, the ones I have never heard of were brilliant as well and I would recommend this book and these stories to anyone who wants something a bit different to read. Jun 27, Elizabeth rated it liked it Shelves: I actually liked this a little bit better than the first one. I enjoyed them because they were so different from the sanitized, prissy princess, children's versions. We forget that fairy tales were not originally for children and were not created as vehicles for which to market toys and Happy Meals. They were oral entertainment, often grisly and cutting social or political commentary mor I first encountered the Lang collection, often called the Colored Fairy Books because of their titles Blue, Olive, Crimson, etc.

    They were oral entertainment, often grisly and cutting social or political commentary more often than not. Like any old literature, it's best to read these in the context of their times and understand that our 21st century professed sensibilities might get a little tweaked from some of the language and prejudices in older literature. Anyone looking for the sweet, slick, happily-ever-after versions where nothing violent or rude ever happens will likely not like this or any of the older collections. Jul 05, Carla Remy rated it liked it.

    Some very original not the fairy tales you've heard before tales, and some I had to skip through. I love Lang's clear Edwardian writing style. I still have some of the Dover reprints of these with the color covers matching the color of the titles. I even have this one though I hadn't read it. Over the years I believe I had read blue, green and purple. Now I bought his entire series for kindle Jan 21, Heydi Smith rated it really liked it Shelves: So many tales all in one book.

    Jun 13, P. Winn rated it really liked it. This book not only has over thirty great tales, readers will find the illustrations included enhance the stories and make the reading more fun. May 30, Milliebot rated it liked it. I long for more plot, character motivation, sound reasoning! I tried hard to leave those thoughts aside and just enjoy these wacky little tales. The back of the book explains that this volume contains some familiar tales like Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Ratcatcher and Snowdrop.

    This book contained several tales that I grew up with as a child: Yet, instead of learning a lesson, the evil fairy is blamed for the entire occurrence, leaving the princess free of any responsibility for her actions. There are some stories that felt very familiar, not only to those in The Red Fairy Book, but also to other tales in this book. There are a lot of similar themes, like finding three magic items, receiving three gifts, fighting three enemies. The beautiful people are most often rewarded for being beautiful — though sometimes also clever and good — and they tend to marry other beautiful people.

    The villains are generally ugly or selfish — very basic representatives of the characteristics that can make us seem like bad people. Instead he falls into a pit and dies. No one can escape death! I also think these would be excellent fodder if someone was looking to reference or retell an obscure fairy tale.

    There are 12 books in this series, and in just this one book I felt I read the same stories over and over again. Save 3 princesses by slaying 3 trolls with each having 3 more heads than the other. Was there ever a good stepmother in the past? And why do the men marry such awful creatures? And don't get me started on the princesses, insta-love and putting up with anything the men do. These really don't giv There are 12 books in this series, and in just this one book I felt I read the same stories over and over again.

    These really don't give good lessons for today. Maybe the best one to survive is to help those less fortunate than you. Jul 21, Rob rated it it was amazing Shelves: Anyone acquainted with The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales will find this book familier going, although somewhat lighter fare. I don't know if it's a good idea to plow through this all at once, but if you do, you'll quickly notice and perhaps even grow troubled by the repetitive nature of the tales, since many are, after all, but regional variations on the other.

    At the same time, it c Anyone acquainted with The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales will find this book familier going, although somewhat lighter fare. At the same time, it can be interesting as to how exactly they do vary. For example, one tale's trolls' heads come in multiples of three, another's, five. Is this simply a case of one-upsmanship hey, my hero cut off fifteen heads, not a measly nine! Those with fine sensibilities may want to skip the spoiler view spoiler [Also, I wonder if the actual word was 'lugs,' which I have a feeling means testicles, since they are to a penis as lugs are to a spear.

    All in all, they probably won't care nearly as much as you do, but… ALl in all, I found it a fascinating read on several levels, but it's probably not for everyone. Some of you may want to stick to Mother Goose. Apr 11, Katie rated it it was ok Shelves: My mother read me these books as a child, but on rereading as an adult, I can definitely tell that she must have left some things out! There are some blatantly racist comments in here, a fair bit of graphic violence, and one female character is even called a "slut," which is a bit jarring in a book of fairy tales.

    Additionally, it's often hard to find the moral of the stories included, and several of them share the same themes, motifs, etc. For example, I learned pretty quickly that if our hero My mother read me these books as a child, but on rereading as an adult, I can definitely tell that she must have left some things out! For example, I learned pretty quickly that if our hero encounters a three-headed troll early on, he'll probably have to fight six and nine-headed ones shortly thereafter.

    This can sometimes make the stories seem a bit tedious and repetitive. However, it's definitely interesting to read such a diverse collection of tales from different European countries, and to encounter them in an earlier, relatively unpolished form, with plenty of their original violence, prejudice, and occasional baffling silliness.

    A favorite that I actually remembered from childhood was "The Golden Goose," and reminiscing over that story was worth the read by itself. I'm really, really glad this collection was selected as a group read! But this turned out to have a lot of tales I haven't read yet and was a lot more varied than I ever imagined! And looking at the list of his sources, he gets more and more mult I'm really, really glad this collection was selected as a group read! And looking at the list of his sources, he gets more and more multi-cultural as he goes, which makes me eager for the rest of his series.

    I probably won't read more Lang soon since I've got several massive fairy tale collections on Mt. TBR already, but he's definitely on my radar now! Dec 13, Nieva21 rated it it was amazing. I am now an avid Andrew Lang reader! I grew up loving the Red Fairy book, but not being able to fully appreciate it as much as all of the creative efforts that went into writing it.

    I feel that now that I was able to read this whole book as well as the Violet Fairy Book, I am also eager to read the other famous Fairy Books all of which, I now own! I believe they are written and compiled more for adults than for anything. But it is really this class, that got me to love I am now an avid Andrew Lang reader! But it is really this class, that got me to love fairytales again in a new way, looking for morals and motifs that tied everything together.

    Fantasy and sci-fi has a whole new meaning for me and I am not ashamed to say, I vow to read everything this man has written! Feb 20, Dan rated it liked it. The casual historical racisms and misogynies notwithstanding, this is still a vital point in the record of children's fantasy literature. Feb 10, Milena rated it liked it Shelves: Moral of the tale Aug 19, Stephanie added it Shelves: In the second of twelve Fairy Books, Andrew Lang selected some thirty-seven tales of European origin.

    The end result leans heavily on the canonical, including no less than eight tales from the Grimm brothers alone. They're not the only over-represented parties; their German stories, the courtly French stories of Madame d'Aulnoy, and the Norwegian tales of folklorists P. If the selections lead to a certain overabundance In the second of twelve Fairy Books, Andrew Lang selected some thirty-seven tales of European origin.

    If the selections lead to a certain overabundance of princesses, curses, enchanted animals, and evil ogres, so too it seems clear that Lang was establishing "fairy" stories as this particular narrow subset of folklore. It feels a little weird to be complaining these stories are too well-known, when it was Andrew and Leonore Lang who probably popularized them in English in the first place!

    Still there are plenty of finds in this volume for the patient who make their way through the "Jack and the Beanstalks".

    Hopefully later books in the series show a little more cultural variety. Tatar observes that the queen is the "center of narrative energy" of the story, and the dwarfs her chief obstacles.