Leonora Blanche Lang’s Books for Children

Children’s Book Collections Written Solely by Leonora Blanche Lang (Edited and with prefaces by Andrew Lang)

  • The Book of Romance (Longmans, Green, and Co. 1902) The stories, with the exception of one, were done by Leonora Lang, but her name is not given in the byline.
  • The Red Romance Book (Longmans, Green, and Co, 1905). This book also does not have Leonora Blanche Lang’s byline, but Lang notes in the preface (twice, pp. vi and viii), “All the stories in this book were done by Mrs. Lang, out of the old romances” (viii).
  • The Book of Princes and Princesses (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1908) This book reads “By Mrs. Lang” [in large type], with “Edited by Andrew Lang” in smaller type directly below that.
  • The Gateway to Shakespeare for Children. (T. Nelson and Sons, 1908). The Educational Times and Journal of the College of Preceptors, vol. 62 (Jan.–Dec. 1909) describes the book as follows: “The Gateway to Shakespeare for Children (Nelson) is a very handsome book, containing selections from seven of the plays and from Lamb’s ‘Tales,’ with a life of Shakespeare and some account of Charles and Mary Lamb by Mrs. Lang, and with sixteen coloured plates and many other illustrations. A very pleasant introduction to Shakespeare, which will be widely appreciated” (32). See in WorldCat.
  • The Red Book of Heroes (Longmans, Green, and Co. 1909) This book is signed “By Mrs. Lang. Edited by Andrew Lang.”
  • The Gateway to Tennyson. Tales and Extracts from the Poet’s Works, with an introduction by Mrs. Andrew Lang. With sixteen coloured illustrations from drawings by Norman Little. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1910. See in WorldCat.
  • The All Sorts of Stories Book (1911) [Signed “By Mrs. Lang. Edited by Andrew Lang.”]
  • The Book of Saints and Heroes (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912) [Signed “By Mrs. Lang. Edited by Andrew Lang.”]
  • The Strange Story Book (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1913) [Signed “By Mrs. Lang. Edited by Andrew Lang.”]

Children’s Book Collections, edited and with prefaces by Andrew Lang, to which Leonora Blanche Lang contributed:

Readers will note that Leonora Lang’s involvement increased over time. In some prefaces, Andrew Lang is very explicit about which stories each contributor did; in others, he gives a more general attribution to story contributors.

  • The Red Fairy Book  (1890) Lang’s introduction simply states: “The tales here have been translated, or, in the case of those from Madame d’Aulnoy’s long stories, adapted, by Mrs. Hunt from the Norse, by Miss Minnie Wright from Madame d’Aulnoy, by Mrs. Lang and Miss Bruce from other French sources . . . .” [Other attributions follow.] (Emphasis mine in this and the following entries)
  • The Green Fairy Book (1892): The preface asks for its readers’ gratefulness to the “Brothers Grimm, who took them down from the telling of old women, and to M. Sébillot and M. Charles Marelles, who have lent us some tales from their own French people, to to Mr. Ford, who drew the pictures, and to the ladies, Miss Blackley, Miss Alma Alleyne, Miss Eleanor Sellar, Miss May Sellar, Miss Wright, and Mrs. Lang, who translated many of the tales out of French, German, and other languages” (xi).
  • The True Story Book (1893) [Later The Blue True Story Book]: In the preface, Andrew Lang writes, “Mrs. Lang reduced the narrative of Chevalier Johnstone, and did the escapes of Cæsar Borgia, of Trenck, and Cervantes” (xiv). Lang himself wrote the prose for five of the stories in this book.
  • The Yellow Fairy Book (1894): Lang writes in his preface, “There are Russian, German, French, Icelandic, Red Indian, and other stories here. They were translated by Miss Cheape, Miss Alma, and Miss Thyra Alleyne, Miss Sellar, Mr. Craigie (he did the Icelandic tales), Miss Blackley, Mrs. Dent, and Mrs. Lang, but the Red Indian stories are copied from English versions published by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology, in America.”
  • The Red True Story Book (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895): “The Crowning of Ines de Castro’ is by Mrs. Lang, from Schäffer. ‘Orthon,’ from Froissart, ‘Gustavus Vasa,’ ‘Monsieur de Bayard’s Duel’ (Brantôme), are by the same lady; also ‘Gaston de Foix,’ from Froissart, and ‘The White Man,’ from Mlle. Aïssé’s Letters” (viii)
  • The Animal Story Book (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1896): Lang attributes the stories to ten different contributors before stating, “All the rest are by Mrs. Lang” (ix).
  • The Pink Fairy Book (1897): “an old French story” was translated “by Mrs. Lang” (viii)
  • The Red Book of Animal Stories (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899): In his preface, Lang attributes the stories to various sources and contributors before saying, “Most of the other tales are written by Mrs. Lang, and are as true as possible. . . . Most of the tales of ‘Thieving Dogs and Horses’ were published, about 1819, by Sir Walter Scott, in ‘Blackwood’s Magazine,’ from which they are taken by Mrs. Lang” (xi).
  • The Grey Fairy Book (1900): “The tales in the Grey Fairy Book are derived from many countries—Lithuania, various parts of Africa, Germany, France, Greece, and other regions of the world. They have been translated and adapted by Mrs. Dent, Mrs. Lang, Miss Eleanor Sellar, Miss Blackley, and Miss Lang.”
  • The Violet Fairy Book (1901): “Of the stories in this book, Miss Blackley translated ‘Dwarf Long Nose,’ ‘The Wonderful Beggars,’ ‘The Lute Player,’ ‘Two in a Sack,’ and ‘The Fish that swam in the Air.’ Mr. W. A. Craigie translated from the Scandinavian, ‘Jesper who herded the Hares.’ Mrs. Lang did the rest.”
  • The Book of Romance (Longmans, Green, and Co. 1902): Lang’s sources are attributed on pages viii–ix, and he notes on the latter page that “All the romances are written by Mrs. Lang, except the story of Grettir the Strong, done by Mr. H. S. C. Everard from the saga translated by Mr. William Morris.”
  • The Crimson Fairy Book (1903): “The stories have mainly been adapted or translated by Mrs. Lang, a few by Miss Lang and Miss Blackley.”
  • The Brown Fairy Book (1904): “The tale of ‘What the Rose did to the Cypress’ is translated out of a Persian manuscript by Mrs. Beveridge. ‘Pivi and Kabo’ is translated by the Editor from a French version; ‘Asmund and Signy’ by Miss Blackley; the Indian stories by Major Campbell, and all the rest are told by Mrs. Lang, who does not give them exactly as they are told by all sorts of outlandish natives, but makes them up in the hope white people will like them, skipping the pieces which they will not like. That is how this Fairy Book was made up for your entertainment” (viii).
  • The Red Romance Book (Longmans, Green, and Co, 1905) [I list this book above under books completely written by Leonora Lang as well, for, as Lang notes in the short preface (twice, pp. vi and viii), “All the stories in this book were done by Mrs. Lang, out of the old romances” (viii).]
  • The Orange Fairy Book (1906): “In this volume there are stories from the natives of Rhodesia, collected by Mr. Fairbridge, who speaks the native language, and one is brought by Mr. Cripps from another part of Africa, Uganda. Three tales from the Punjaub were collected and translated by Major Cambell. Various savage tales, which needed a good deal of editing, are derived from the learned pages of the ‘Journal of the Anthropological Institute.’ With these exceptions, and ‘The Magic Book,’ translated by Mrs. Pedersen, from ‘Eventyr fra Jylland,’ by Mr. Ewald Tang Kristensen (Stories from Jutland), all the tales have been done, from various sources, by Mrs. Lang, who has modified, where it seemed desirable, all the narratives” (viii).
  • The Olive Fairy Book (1907): “In this volume we open, thanks to Dr. Ignaz Künos, with a story from the Turks. ‘Little King Lee’ is an original invention by M. Anatole France, which he very kindly permitted Mrs. Lang to adapt from L’AbeilleMajor Campbell, as previously, tells tales which he collected among the natives of India. But the sources are usually named at the end of each story, and when they are not named children will not miss them. Mrs. Lang, except in cases mentioned, has translated and adapted to the conditions of young readers the bulk of the collection, and Mrs. Skovgaard-Pedersen has done ‘The Green Knight’ from the Danish. I must especially thank Monsieur Maeler for permitting us to use some of his Contes Arméniens” (viii–ix).
  • The Lilac Fairy Book (1910). In the preface to the last of the twelve colored fairy books, Andrew Lang explicitly denies authorship of fairy stories, says authorship of original fairy stories is actually an impossibility, and gives much of the credit for the fairy books to his wife: “In truth I never did write any fairy books in my life, except ‘Prince Prigio,’ ‘Prince Ricardo,’ and ‘Tales from a Fairy Court’ . . . . The object of these confessions is not only that of advertising my own fairy books (which are not ‘out of print’ . . . ), but of giving credit where credit is due. The fairy books have been almost wholly the work of Mrs. Lang, who has translated and adapted them from the French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and other languages. [vi–vii]
    “My part has been that of Adam, according to Mark Twain, in the Garden of Eden. Eve worked, Adam superintended. I also superintend. I find out where the stories are, and advise, and, in short, superintend. I do not write the stories out of my own head. The reputation of having written all the fairy books (an European reputation in nurseries and in the United States of America) is ‘the burden of an honour unto which I was not born.’ It weighs upon and is killing me, as the general fash of being the wife of the Lord of Burleight, Burleigh House by Stamford Town, was too much for the village maiden espoused by that peer.
    “Nobody really wrote most of the stories. . . . They are older than reading and writing, and arose like wild flowers before men had any education to quarrel over [vii]. . . . Nobody can write a new fairy tale; you can only mix up and dress up the old, old stories, and put the characters into new dresses” [viii].

 

This page was last updated on November 4, 2017.