Andrew Lang


It is time to continue our mini-series of Andrew Lang fairy books! This post will be featuring three of these beauties: The Olive Fairy Book, The Green Fairy Book, and The Yellow Fairy Book.

First up is my personal favorite, The Olive Fairy Book, which was published in 1907. The cover features two fairies: one that is the focal point of the cover design, and another smaller one riding a bat that can be seen in the lower right-hand corner. Luckily, this is another one of Lang’s fairy tales in our holdings that still has its dust cover! The back of the cover advertises the previous books in this series, along with other stories Lang edited.

Published in 1892, The Green Fairy Book was originally supposed to be the last in a three part series of fairy books by Lang. Lang states in the preface “To the Friendly Reader - This is the third, and probably the last, of the Fairy Books of many colours.” It is safe to say that the popularity of these tales attributed to the continuation of the series.

Finally, we have The Yellow Fairy Book, which was published in 1894. Along with the fairy design on the cover, this book also has a little cat and mouse image on the spine. The last illustration, which comes from The Yellow Fairy Book, is from the Estonian fairy tale “The Dragon of the North”.

xPZ5.L263 O5, xPZ5.L263 G7, xPZ5.L263 Y4

-Lindsay M.

When insults had class

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

A member of Parliament to Disraeli:
“Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease”. “That depends, Sir,“ said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

“He had delusions of adequacy.” - Walter Kerr

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”- Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great
pleasure.” -Clarence Darrow

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” - William Faulkner
(about Ernest Hemingway).

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” - Moses Hadas

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” - Mark Twain

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” - Oscar

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
friend…. if you have one.”
(George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill)
“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second  …. if there is
one."  (Winston Churchill, in response.)

"I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” -
Stephen Bishop

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” - John Bright

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” -
Irvin S. Cobb

“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” -
Samuel Johnson

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” - Paul Keating

“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” -
Charles, Count Talleyrand

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” - Forrest Tucker

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” -Mark Twain

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” - Mae West

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” - Oscar Wilde

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination.”
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” - Billy Wilder

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” Groucho Marx


Did you enjoy our teaser post featuring the spines of Andrew Lang’s twelve book series of fairy tales? If so, enjoy this post featuring five of those books. (Don’t worry, the rest will be posted next week).

First up we have the cover and an illustrated image from The Brown Fairy Book, which was published in 1904. The cover on this book is one of the more ornate ones, featuring woodland creatures and fairies.

Next is The Crimson Fairy Book, published in 1903. We are lucky that this book still has its dust cover in fairly decent condition. Also featured is an illustrated image from the fairy tale “Lady Luck”.

Covers from The Pink Fairy Book (1897) and The Red Fairy Book (1890) appear in the fifth image, followed by a black and white illustration from each. The image with the multi-headed troll comes from The Red Fairy Book and is titled “Soria Moria Castle”. This is a Norwegian fairy tale orginally made famous by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe, only to gain popularity by being included in one of Lang’s fairy books. Tales of Norweigen folklore is just one example of cultural stories that Lang gathered for his books.

Rounding up this post is The Orange Fairy Book, published in 1906. Not only does this book still have its original dust cover, but it also was hiding some treasure within its pages! Inside this book was a bookmark advertising the Scottish Widow’s fund for the year 1913. Finding objects inserted in books always adds to that book’s unique history!

xPZ5.L263 B7, xPZ5.L263 C7, xPZ5.L263 P5, xPZ5.L263 R4, xPZ5.L263 O7

-Lindsay M.


We are wrapping up our Andrew Lang fairy book posts with the last four of this colorful series: The Blue Fairy Book, The Violet Fairy Book, The Grey Fairy Book, and The Lilac Fairy Book.

We begin with an image of The Blue Fairy Book, which was the first Lang fairy book of the series to be published in 1889. We have featured this book on our Instagram and Tumblr before around Halloween last yer, as the witch cover is perfect for that holiday!

The next two images come from The Violet Fairy Book, published in 1901, including a beautiful colored illustration from the tale “The Fairy of the Dawn”. The Grey Fairy Book, published in 1900, is another from our collection that still has its dust cover. Even though this book is the least ornate of the series, it still has a fairy-themed cover with a fairy riding an owl.

Last but not least is The Lilac Fairy Book, which was the final Lang fairy book, published in 1910. This one is very difficult to capture on camera, as the white and gold do not play very nice with the lighting. The pictures here do not do this book justice! The last colored illustration comes from the fairy tale "The Wonderful Tune", which is an Irish fairy tale about mermaids.

We hope you enjoyed these posts featuring these beautiful books! Did you miss out on the others? Check them out here, here, and here!

xPZ5.L263 B5, xPZ5.L264 V5, xPZ5.L263 G74, xPZ5.L263 L5

-Lindsay M.