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The Red Fairy Book (Coloured Fairy Books #2)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,268 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
37 tales include Grimms The Three Dwarfs, Mother Hole, The Golden Goose. Also Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, the Ratcatcher (the Pied Piper), Snowdrop (Snow White), The Voice of Death, The Enchanted Pig, The Master Thief, from France, Russia, Denmark, Romania, and Norse Sigurd and Brynhild. 97 illustrations.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 1st 1966 by Dover Publications (first published 1890)
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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
488th out of 1,895 books — 7,739 voters
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottTreasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonThe Blue Fairy Book by Andrew LangThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Best Children's Books, 1850-1900
15th out of 61 books — 16 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
I read several of Lang's Fairy Books when I was little, and I can remember seeing a whole set of the various colored books on a bookstore shelf, and wishing that I could have them all. Buying them all was expensive, and I never remembered to try the library and look them up. However now all of them are free ebooks. Handy thing, that. [Free Gutenberg ebook link for this one.]

One thing I've always loved about fairy tales is that, when an odd being comes to you repeatedly in a dream, it's perfectly
Abby Hagler
May 18, 2011 Abby Hagler rated it it was amazing
Red Fairy Book Mixtape:

1. Summer Nights - Marianne Faithful
2. The Trouble I've Been Looking For - Magnetic Fields
3. Satin in a Coffin - Modest Mouse
4. Swinging London - Magnetic Fields
5. Don't Deconstruct - Rilo Kiley
6. Piano Fire - Sparklehorse
7. The Sun Goes Down and the World Goes Dancing - Magnetic Fields
8. Empassant - The Black Lips
9. Suit Yourself - Shout Out Louds
10. Bones of a Man - Chad Van Gaalen
11. Don't Take My Sunshine Away - Sparklehorse
12. Fill Your Heart - David Bowie
13. The Wait
Mary Catelli
Dec 11, 2015 Mary Catelli rated it really liked it
How I read these books when I was a child. . . .

If you are looking for an introduction to the worlds of possibility in fairy tales, it's still a a good series. And can, of course, be read in any order since it's just collections of fairy tales. Those familiar with many tales may note some of the work done to make it a children's book -- "The Death of Koschei the Deathless" more often appears under the title "Marya Morvenva" and I think was simplified a bit here from most variants I have read.

Jun 02, 2014 Camille rated it liked it
I don’t have as much to say about this book as I did about The Crimson Fairy Book, because a lot of my thoughts are still the same – as a modern reader I often find myself asking “why” when a character randomly does something. I long for more plot, character motivation, sound reasoning! I tried hard to leave those thoughts aside and just enjoy these wacky little tales.

The back of the book explains that this volume contains some familiar tales like Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Ratcatcher
Feb 22, 2010 Alice added it
This was a "suggested reading" book for the Charlotte Mason curriculum we are using. It is a collection of fairy tales and there are other books by the same author such as "The Blue Fairy Book". What I liked: there were many fairy tales that I had never heard of and it was fun to read the new stories. Another element that I liked was that it didn't "dumb down" the stories for children or take out the sad or scary parts. I don't like the disney type stories that infantilize children by always cre ...more
Caroline Watkinson
I found it so interesting to read some of the classics and see them from a different perspective to how I read them when I was younger. In addition, the ones I have never heard of were brilliant as well and I would recommend this book and these stories to anyone who wants something a bit different to read.
Mar 06, 2016 Erik rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good. I admit, I didn't like it as much as The Blue Fairy Book, but it was okay. I like how this is the first book where Andrew Lang really starts to branch out with translations of other authors (such as the inclusion of Romanian stories and tales by Charles Deulin) instead of just translating stories that have had a million previous translations.

My favorite stories:
- Princess Mayblossom (my favorite story in the collection)
- The Death of Koschei the Deathless
- Princess Ros
Elizabeth Means
I actually liked this a little bit better than the first one.
Jul 29, 2011 Rob rated it it was amazing
Anyone acquainted with The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales will find this book familier going, although somewhat lighter fare. I also realized as I began that I should have started with The Blue Fairy Book, something I intend to rectify soon.

I don't know if it's a good idea to plow through this all at once, but if you do, you'll quickly notice and perhaps even grow troubled by the repetitive nature of the tales, since many are, after all, but regional variations on the other. At the same time, it c
I'm really, really glad this collection was selected as a group read!

I read a lot of author and country specific collections of fairy tales and I've read most of the big name authors/collectors, so I'd always assumed that I would have read most of the stories that Lang used - at least for his first couple of collections.

But this turned out to have a lot of tales I haven't read yet and was a lot more varied than I ever imagined! And looking at the list of his sources, he gets more and more mult
Dec 21, 2010 Nieva21 rated it it was amazing
I am now an avid Andrew Lang reader! I grew up loving the Red Fairy book, but not being able to fully appreciate it as much as all of the creative efforts that went into writing it. I feel that now that I was able to read this whole book as well as the Violet Fairy Book, I am also eager to read the other famous Fairy Books (all of which, I now own!, except the Rose book). I believe they are written and compiled more for adults than for anything. But it is really this class, that got me to love ...more
Verity Brown
Sep 14, 2015 Verity Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fairy tales

I'm sure I read all of Lang's fairy books when I was a child, but there are some delightful things here that I don't remember. For example, in the version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" told in this book, the giant's castle isn't up on a cloud, but rather at the top of a tall cliff that overhangs the cottage. And Jack isn't merely a peasant boy, but the son of the king who owned the castle before the giant invaded. Consequently, rather than being a thief, Jack is an exiled prince taking back his ow
Apr 04, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 17, 2016 Katie rated it it was ok
My mother read me these books as a child, but on rereading as an adult, I can definitely tell that she must have left some things out! There are some blatantly racist comments in here, a fair bit of graphic violence, and one female character is even called a "slut," which is a bit jarring in a book of fairy tales. Additionally, it's often hard to find the moral of the stories included, and several of them share the same themes, motifs, etc. (For example, I learned pretty quickly that if our hero ...more
Jun 13, 2015 Kaion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myth-folk, reviewed
In the second of twelve Fairy Books, Andrew Lang selected some thirty-seven tales of European origin. The end result leans heavily on the canonical, including no less than eight tales from the Grimm brothers alone. They're not the only over-represented parties; their German stories, the courtly French stories of Madame d'Aulnoy, and the Norwegian tales of folklorists P.C. Asbjornson & Jorgen Moe form almost two-thirds of The Red Fairy Book .

If the selections lead to a certain overabundance
Jul 08, 2013 Shoshana rated it really liked it
I took notes on my Kindle as I read these, so I'll just copy and expand them out here and hope that it sort of works as a review! Since it was last month, and it's hard to get an overall impression of a book of fairy tales.

The Princess Mayblossom: I've read this template before. Usually there's better bad luck. But I like the agency of the heroine.

Soria Moria Castle: Like East of the Sun West of the Moon but less epic and with a boy doing boy things. [What did that mean? I may have to re-read to
Dec 21, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: folktales
Jack and the Beanstalk: In this version, the giant's castle, harp, and money all belonged to Jack's father. The giant came and killed Jack's father and Jack's siblings. Jack and his mother the queen escaped. The queen pretended to be a peasant to hide Jack from the giant. The man who sold Jack the beans was really a fairy in disguise who wanted to test Jack and see if he would make a good king. Jack defeats the giant and reclaims his kingdom.

Mother Holle: Two sisters: one good, one lazy. When sh
Nov 23, 2010 Isabel rated it really liked it
This is one of the most comprehensive collections of Western fairy tales I've found. Definitely better for the stouter of heart: "the Bull ... rushed at the Troll, and gored out his eyes, and drove his horns right through him so that his entrails gushed out..." (198). So, kinda rated R for violence. Somehow, my 7 year old daughter still insists that we start our day with one of these stories, though. The bold and the beautiful are always rewarded. It's fun to find similarities in these stories w ...more
Jun 04, 2014 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one much more than The Blue Fairy book. It had tales I hadn't heard, and the groupings were smoother and less disjointed as I read.
Juli Anna Herndon
Oct 10, 2014 Juli Anna Herndon rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-ya
More gems here: "The Twelves Dancing Princesses" is always a favourite; "The Wonderful Birch," "The Twelve Brothers," "The Nettle-Spinner," and "The Seven Foals."
Jun 01, 2014 Crystal rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-books
There were a few fairy tales I hadn't heard of before but nothing truly spectacular. And they are so repetitious... with all the tales out there I'm surprised Lang put so many similar ones in one book.
Emily Morris
Oct 29, 2013 Emily Morris rated it it was amazing
It can be difficult to find a fairy tale collection that manages to hit on a wider spectrum of stories, rather than the hish-hash collections of everything that everyone has memorized or the collections that go out of the way to find the most unknown and unusual. This has both, from the familiar to the distinctly different, and told in a classic Victorian voice. There is a story for everyone here, romantic, macabre, and even funny, and from a variety of countries and cultures. It's a good, basic ...more
Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
‘Mirror, mirror, hanging there, Who in all the land’s most fair?’

‘You are most fair, my Lady Queen, None fairer in the land, I ween.’

Then she was quite happy, for she knew the mirror always spoke the truth.

But Snowdrop was growing prettier and prettier every day, and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as she could be, and fairer even than the Queen herself. One day when the latter asked her mirror the usual question, it replied:

‘My Lady Queen, you are fair, ’tis true, But Snowdro
Jul 09, 2012 Ivy rated it really liked it
I first heard of this book when I was doing an Author Study on J.R.R. Tolkien. It was one of the books he read when he was younger that influenced him. The other day I was in the back of our school library when the title caught my attention. Since I love Tolkien and fairy tales so much I asked the librarian if I could check them out, but they were discards so she let me take them home! I absolutely love the collection of fairy tales. It really is a shame parents don't read more of the older tale ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Krishna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book with beautiful illustrations.
Virginia Manning
Apr 17, 2014 Virginia Manning rated it really liked it
You can't really go wrong with fairy tales.
Jan 20, 2015 Virginia marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
had to return to the lbrary after only getting one story read.
Mar 07, 2015 Dan rated it liked it
The casual (historical) racisms and misogynies notwithstanding, this is still a vital point in the record of children's fantasy literature.
Jacqueline Sinard
Jul 12, 2012 Jacqueline Sinard rated it really liked it
I dearly love short stories mostly because they do not have time for a lot of weeping and angst like so many series today. This book did not disappoint, I could stop reading at any time and not have to worry about whether the main character was going to end up with her soulmate or die alone and unloved. And while I did not love all of the stories, it contained very few that I did not like in some way. Can't wait to read the rest of the Fairy books!
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Into the Forest: Red Fairy Book 44 23 Dec 18, 2014 04:29AM  
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Andrew Gabriel Lang was a prolific Scots man of letters. He was a poet, novelist, and literary critic, and a contributor to anthropology. He now is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales.

The Young Scholar and Journalist
Andrew Gabriel Lang grew up in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, the son of the town clerk and the eldest of eight children. The wild and beautiful landscape of his childh
More about Andrew Lang...

Other Books in the Series

Coloured Fairy Books (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Blue Fairy Book
  • The Green Fairy Book
  • The Yellow Fairy Book
  • The Pink Fairy Book
  • The Grey Fairy Book
  • The Violet Fairy Book
  • The Crimson Fairy Book
  • The Brown Fairy Book
  • The Orange Fairy Book
  • The Olive Fairy Book

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