The Green Fairy Book
London and New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1892.
Limited first edition.
A handsome copy of the third of Lang's beautiful fairy books with illustrations by Henry J. Ford. The Scots author was an avid collector of fairy tales from around the world and many of the stories in this collection, particularly the classic French tales, are translated here into English for the first time. In the preface Lang writes, “The stories in all the books are borrowed from many countries; some are French, some German, some Russian, some Italian, some Scotish, some English, one Chinese. However much these nations differ about trifles, they all agree in liking fairy tales.”
One of the French stories collected in 'The Green Fairy Book' may have provided inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'. Issued in the year of Tolkien's birth, we know that Tolkien had read the 'The Enchanted Ring' in Lang's 'Green Fairy Book'. Tolkien makes reference to the collection in his dissertation, 'On Fairy-stories'. Telling the tale of a young man who is given a ring that can not only make him invisible but will make him "the most powerful of men" as long as he does not "make bad use of it", Lang attributes 'The Enchanted Ring' to the French writer and archbishop, François Fénelon (1651 - 1715).
“To form a collection is to transform the individual items. Collections remove objects from their context and reassign identities according to imposed categorization and classification. One of the most striking attributes of the Fairy Book collection is its international scope. Multicultural fairy-tale collections are common in the twentieth century, but Lang’s collection is the first and arguably one of the most extensive.”
Hines, Sara. “Collecting the Empire: Andrew Lang's Fairy Books (1889-1910).” Marvels & Tales, vol. 24, no. 1, 2010, pp. 39–56.
Signed limited edition, one of 150 copies of which this is number 74, octavo, large paper edition, bound in full green crushed morocco by Stikeman, decorated with gilt, top edge gilt, 366 pages, numerous black & white illustrations throughout, full page illustrations, in fine condition.
Price (AUD): $3,500.00 other currencies