Leonora Blanche Alleyne (8 March 1851–July 10, 1933) married Andrew Lang on April 17, 1875. She worked with him and on her own on many writing projects.
According to the DNB article on Andrew Lang by William Donaldson, Alleyne was the seventh child and “youngest daughter of Charles Thomas Alleyne of Clifton and Barbados, where he had estates and had been owner of enslaved people before emancipation .” Her obituary in the Times (12 July 1933) notes that she herself was born at Clifton before continuing thus:
“From an early age she must have shown promise of the brilliance and vitality that characterized her whole life. She herself sometimes spoke of a sternly repressed childhood, but it is probable that her exuberance of spirit and unquestionable thirst for knowledge and adventure made her somewhat of a problem to her rather elderly parents. After the usual desultory education as a day girl at a fashionable school of the period in Clifton her early marriage to the brilliant but retiring young Scotch scholar and writer Andrew Lang must have brought a welcome emancipation. The young couple, with their intellectual and social gifts, good looks, and kindness of heart, were welcomed in the literary and artistic circles in London and Edinburgh, and many distinguished men and women delighted to open to them their hearts and their homes, thus forging the links of lifelong friendships. They included the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, whose children were among their many ‘child-friends.’
“Later in life, when Andrew Lang’s health made it necessary for them to spend their winters in St. Andrews, they threw themselves into the social life of that University city, but for Mrs. Lang these were always months of banishment from the London she so loved, and she returned thither with joy each spring.” (16)
Andrew Lang died in 1912, and Leonora Lang’s 1933 Times obituary discusses her undertakings after his death, including her interest in Russian:
“through the ensuing dark War years she strove to play her part in undertaking tasks that most have been sorely uncongenial to her nature. But one of her efforts proved that her always remarkable gift for acquiring languages was as strong as ever. She mastered the intricacies of the Russian language, not merely to enjoy the literature, but to correspond with Russian soldiers in the hospitals and camps. This gift of tongues had been used by her long before, when she helped Andrew Lang to collect and edit that remarkable series of fairy books which have delighted so many children. . . . [The date of her Russian translation below (1880) appears to contradict the idea that she acquired Russian late in life.]
“Of her goodness and unostentatious piety, her kindness of heart, and her generosity she would consider it unfitting that one should speak. Many will feel their lives the emptier for the passing of so radiant and vital a personality from their midst, but they will cherish tender and happy memories of her friendship. (16)
The obituary further notes that Leonora Lang’s funeral would be in London while her burial would be in St Andrews, “in the Cathedral precincts.”
A month after her death, the Times published that she “left property of a gross value of £12,303, with net personalty £11,687,” and that she left the portrait of Andrew Lang by Sir W. B. Richmond to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (27 Aug. 1933, 13).
The Fairy Books and Children’s Books
Leonora Lang did much of the work on the twelve color fairy books and the other books for children, as Lang notes in the prefaces. By the later children’s books, when Leonora Lang was doing all or most of the writing, this fact is reflected in the byline (Mrs. Lang), though the children’s books are still all listed as edited by Andrew Lang and have his preface. For more information on Leonora Blanche Lang’s particular contributions to the children’s books, see the page Leonora Blanche Lang’s Books for Children. For more information on Andrew Lang’s children’s books and their prefaces, see the page on Lang’s Children’s Books, Fairy Tales, and Fantasies. Readers may also be interested in Andrea Day’s article: “‘Almost wholly the work of Mrs. Lang’: Nora Lang, Literary Labour, and the Fairy Books,” which is cited in full in this site’s bibliography.
Leonora Lang also wrote one novel, Dissolving Views. 2 volumes. London: Longman, 1884. (The scan provided is from the New York Harper & Brothers copy.)
The Poetical Works of Andrew Lang, In Four Volumes, vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, Edited by Leonora Blanche Lang, (Longmans, Green, 1923).
[See also the Gateway to . . . entries on the Leonora Blanche Lang’s Books for Children page.]
The Approach to Shakespeare by Richard Wilson. Introduction by Mrs. Andrew Lang. London and Edinburgh: T. Nelson and Sons, 1938. See in WorldCat.
The Approach to Tennyson: Prose Tales and extracts from the Poems, with introduction by Mrs. Andrew Lang. [Formally known as “The Gateway to Tennyson.” The Teaching of English Series. London: T. Nelson, 1925. See in WorldCat.
Rambaud, Alfred. History of Russia, From the Earliest Times to 1877. [Or, an alternate title: History of Russia, From the Earliest Times to 1882.] Translated by L. B. Lang. Edited and Enlarged by Nathan Haskell Dole. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, . 3 vols. [I include scans of vol. 1 and vol. 2. (The scan of the second volume is from Boston: Estes and Lauriat, and the copyright date is 1880.)
Tyskiewicz, Michal. Memories of an Old Collector. Trans. Mrs. Andrew Lang. London: Longmans, Green, 1898. See in WorldCat.
Lang, L. B. A geography, physical, political and descriptive, for beginners. [Vol. 2], The continent of Europe. Ed. Rev. M. Creighton. London: Rivingtons, 1883. See in WorldCat.
Periodical Writings and Men, Women and Minxes (Longman’s 1912)
Also of interest are Leonora Lang’s periodical writings. The Wellesley Index lists her as a contributor to three periodicals, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (first contribution April 1893), Longman’s Magazine (first contribution June 1892), and The National Review (first contribution Nov. 1886). From the 1912 collection of her essays, Men, Women and Minxes (Longman’s), it is clear that she also contributed to The Art Journal and The Saturday Review. Please let me know if you are aware of additional contributions to periodicals by Leonora Blanche Lang.
The Art Journal
“Sir Frederick Leighton, Bart., President of the Royal Academy: His Life and Work, with Numerous Illustrations.” The Art Journal (1887): 1–32. [Signed Mrs. A. Lang.]
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine
- “Paris theatres from 1750-1790.” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine 153 (April 1893): 522–31. [Wellesley]
- “The Recollections of Baron de Freilly.” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine 190 (Oct. 1911): 533–44. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes, Longman’s, 1912. [Unsigned. Listed in David Finkelstein’s An Index to Blackwood’s Magazine, 1901–1980. Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995, p. 287. I link to the American editions of the magazine.]
- “Pitfalls for Collectors.” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine 191 (Feb. 1912): 201–14. [Signed Mrs Andrew Lang, Finkelstein 287.] Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “The Wife of Benedict Arnold.” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine 192 (Oct. 1912): 469–84. [Signed Mrs Andrew Lang, Finkelstein 287.]
- “The Bookseller of the Rue St. Jacques” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine 193 (June 1913): 832–43. [Signed Mrs Andrew Lang, Finkelstein 287).
See Andrew Lang’s contributions to Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine.
Longman’s Magazine (1882–1905)
- “A Paris Correspondent of 1753 [Friederich Melchior Grimm].” Longman’s Magazine 19 (April 1892): 603–12. Signed L.B.L.; reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “The Fairchild Family and their Creator.” Longman’s Magazine 21 (April 1893): 579–94. Signed L. B. Lang; reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “The home-life of the Verneys.” Longman’s Magazine 26 (June 1895): 143–53. Signed L.B. Lang; reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “A correspondent of White of Selborne.” Longman’s Magazine 26 (Sep. 1895): 492–503. Signed L. B. Lang.
- “French and English Minxes.” Longman’s Magazine 29 (Dec. 1896): 131–42. Signed L. B. Lang; reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “The history of my frocks.” Longman’s Magazine 30 (Sep. 1897): 416–25. [The Wellesley Index identifies this article by writing “Signed K. ? see no. 1428.” See number 9 below.]
- “Memoirs of a Highland Lady [Elizabeth Grant].” Longman’s Magazine 31 (Mar. 1898): 404–419. Signed L. B. Lang.
- “Trials of the wife of a literary man.” Longman’s Magazine 32 (June 1898): 126–32. Signed K. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “A granddaughter of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.” Longman’s Magazine 35 (Nov. 1899): 24–36. Signed L. B. Lang. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “Two Centuries of American women.” Longman’s Magazine 35 (Feb. 1900): 323–35. Signed L. B. Lang. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “Other People’s Friends.” (Longman’s, November 1901)
The National Review
- “Paul de St. Victor.” The National Review 8 (Nov. 1886): 296–312. Signed Nora Lang. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “Morals and Manners in Richardson.” The National Review 14 (Nov. 1889): 321–40. Signed L. B. Lang. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “The Social Records of a Scotch family [the Caldwell Papers].” The National Review 15 (July 1890): 625–40. Signed Mrs. Lang. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “Rousseau’s Ideal Household.” The National Review 17 (Aug. 1891): 754–66. Signed L. B. Lang. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
- “A Poseuse of the Eighteenth Century [Madame de Genlis.” The National Review 19 (June 1892): 488–500. Signed L. B. Lang. Reprinted in Men, Women and Minxes.
Men, Women and Minxes (Longman’s, 1912) reprints the following essays. When I was able to identify the source, I did so.
- “A Poseuse of the Eighteenth Century.” (National Review, June 1892)
- “The Social Records of a Scotch Family.” (The National Review, July 1890)
- “French and English Minxes.” (Longman’s, December 1896)
- “Pitfalls for Collectors.” (Blackwood’s, February 1912)
- “Paul de St. Victor.” (The National Review, November 1886)
- “Trials of the Wife of a Literary Man.” (Longman’s, June 1898)
- “A Paris Correspondent of 1753.” (Longman’s, April 1892)
- “The Fairchild Family and their Creator.” (Longman’s, April 1893)
- “A Granddaughter of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.” (Longman’s, November 1899)
- “Rousseau’s Ideal Household.” (The National Review, August 1891)
- “Morals and Manners in Richardson.” (The National Review, November 1889)
- “Art in Country Inns and Lodging-Houses.”
- “The Home-Life of the Verneys.” (Longman’s, June 1895)
- “Two Centuries of American Women.” (Longman’s, February 1900)
- “Other People’s Friends.” (Longman’s, November 1901)
- “The Recollections of the Baron de Frénilly.” (Blackwood’s, October 1911)
- “Miss Grant of Rothiemurchus.” (Longman’s, March 1898, as “Memoirs of a Highland Lady“)
- “Poets as Landscape Painters.” (The Saturday Review, 27 July 1889 [Curran Index])
In her preface, dated August 1912 (a month after Lang’s death), Leonora Lang notes, “This collection of essays, several of them dating back twenty-five years, was in the press while my husband was still alive. As we had chosen them together and laughed over them together, I have left them as they were, in the order that he placed them.”
Please contact me if you find any additional Leonora Lang works that should be added to this page.
Bassett, Troy J. At the Circulating Library: A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901.
“Charles Thomas Alleyne: Profile & Legacies Summary. 1798–15 April 1872. Claimant or Beneficiary.” Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/6849. Accessed 23 Dec. 2022.
Donaldson, William. “Andrew Lang.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 12 Aug. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/34396.
Finkelstein, David. An Index to Blackwood’s Magazine, 1901–1980. Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995, p. 287.
“Mrs. Andrew Lang. Gift for Languages.” [Obituary.] Times, 12 July 1933. Times Digital Archive, http://www.gale.com/intl/c/the-times-digital-archive.
The Wellesley Index
“Wills and Bequests.” Times, 22 Aug. 1933, p. 13, Times Digital Archive. http://www.gale.com/intl/c/the-times-digital-archive.
Special thanks to Gary Simons of the Curran Index for alerting me to the date of the Saturday Review article and the 1901 Longman’s article.