The Red Fairy Book (Hesperus Fairytale Books) by Andrew Lang
|The Red Fairy Book (Hesperus Fairytale Books) by Andrew Lang|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Beautiful edition of one of Andrew Lang's world famous series collating fairy stories. One read could never be enough. You'll return to them over and over again.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: November 2013|
Andrew Lang was a poet, novelist, literary critic and anthropologist. But perhaps he is best known as a collector of folk tales. His series of twelve Fairy Books were published between 1889 and 1910. Together, they took in more than four hundred fairy tales many of which had never before been translated into English. The series was incredibly influential but, more importantly, loved by hundreds of thousands of children and their parents. They are full of magic and courage and love and loss, enchanted forests, wicked trolls, treasure troves and the vanquishing of evil. They are wonderful.
Hesperus Press have made me very happy by reissuing the first two in the series - the Red and Blue books. I have the Red book to review and it's a beautiful edition with a wonderful silhoutted jacket design by Madeline Meckliffe with golden titling. I would have loved the look of this book as a child. And I love it now.
Some of the stories you'll know. The Red book includes Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and The Golden Goose. There are some you won't know - my favourite is the Norwegian Dapplegrim in which a horse ensures that his master will find and win the hand of a beautiful princess. Norse mythology gets another look-in with The Story of Sigurd the famously tragic story of a Danish hero.
Every single story in this collection will transport you. They are timeless and they take in every aspect of human emotion, desire and ambition. Some are magic, some are simply traditional but they are all a part of the endless fascination we have with folklore and fairy tales. The vocabulary is challenging and the language is, obviously, quite old-fashioned. Don't let this put you off. These stories are for reading aloud and sharing and for children to pore over endlessly afterwards, feeling the magic. And they will feel the magic.
Thank you, Hesperus, for bringing these wonderful anthologies back to us. I shall treasure my copy of The Red Fairy Book.
You might also enjoy the beautiful retellings in The Thousand Nights and One Night by David Walser and Jan Pienkowski and Brahma Dreaming: Legends from Hindu Mythology by John Jackson and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Red Fairy Book (Hesperus Fairytale Books) by Andrew Lang at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Red Fairy Book (Hesperus Fairytale Books) by Andrew Lang at Amazon.com.
The Red Fairy Book (Hesperus Fairytale Books) by Andrew Lang is in the Top Ten Books for Confident Readers 2013.
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