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The Red Fairy Book (Coloured Fairy Books #2)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,926 ratings  ·  72 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, 367 pages
Published June 1st 1966 by Dover Publications (first published 1890)
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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
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Abby Hagler
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
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Mary Catelli
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.

Thi
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Alice
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
Camille
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
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Rob
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
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Melanti
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
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Kaion
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
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Shoshana
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
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Amanda
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
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Pendi
Andrew Lang collects and edits different folk tales, myths, legends, and other stories from different countries, religions, and cultures. However, he does rewrite them to fit the Anglo-Saxon, Christian ideals that were pervasive among Western cultures, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. But once you get past that, it is an enjoyable way to learn new stories for future tellings.
Isabel
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
Nieva21
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
Julie
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
More gems here: "The Twelves Dancing Princesses" is always a favourite; "The Wonderful Birch," "The Twelve Brothers," "The Nettle-Spinner," and "The Seven Foals."
Crystal
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
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
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Ivy
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
Krishna
Brilliant book with beautiful illustrations.
Virginia Manning
You can't really go wrong with fairy tales.
Virginia
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.
Dan
The casual (historical) racisms and misogynies notwithstanding, this is still a vital point in the record of children's fantasy literature.
Jacqueline Sinard
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!
Tammy
Mar 05, 2015 Tammy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Waiting for it's arrival.....
John Gueltzow
Like its predecessor, the Blue Book, I was mostly bored with the prose. It's fun for a fairy tale completist, but I'm not really into these. No more colorful fairy tale books for me.
Maureen
Jun 05, 2008 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children and the people who read to them
Shelves: children
I found this book, along with The Green Fairy Book, in an old house in Canada. That was the beginning of the magic of reading these well-known fairy tales to my daughters. Lang's writing style is not as descriptive as the Brothers Grimm, and he does not have the heart of Hans Christian Anderson, but he recounts these beloved stories well enough that the children I read them to will probably read them to their children someday.
Cherylg
Some good stories...some not so good. Overall we enjoyed the Blue Fairy book better than the Red one.
Rrlgrrl
The second book of the series, and this one definitely had some familiar Grimm fairy tales. I was a little surprised that the tale of Snowdrop (or Snow White) had the traditional gory ending rather than the sanitized one. I had thought all of the Andrew Lang fairy tale compilations were sanitized. The next one is green, but I'll save it for the beginning of next year.
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Into the Forest: Red Fairy Book 44 22 Dec 18, 2014 04:29AM  
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18393
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
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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
The Blue Fairy Book The Green Fairy Book The Yellow Fairy Book The Pink Fairy Book The Orange Fairy Book

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