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The Brown Fairy Book (Coloured Fairy Books #9)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  994 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
32 folk tales from American Indians, Australian Bushmen, African Kaffirs, India, Persia, Lapland, Brazil, India, New Caledonia and more. 50 illustrations.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 1st 1965 by Dover Publications (first published 1904)
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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
452nd out of 2,012 books — 7,837 voters
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Best Books of the Decade: 1900's
104th out of 308 books — 602 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mary Catelli
Dec 06, 2014 Mary Catelli rated it really liked it
This one fares farther than the earlier ones, with a lot more from North America, Iceland, Egypt, etc. and fewer from Europe -- not that that doesn't demonstrate how the forms of stories can last. "The Sister of the Sun" and "The King Who Would Be Stronger than Fate" in particular are charming versions with local color of familiar tales. (Well, familiar if you read more than the Top Twenty(ish) Tales). I really don't like the first one "What The Rose Did to the Cypress," and some are more like ...more
My mother had a whole shelf of the (color) fairy books. I remember there was a violet one, and a blue one...

This one goes the furthest afield, dealing with folktales from many different peoples, and it was the one that impressed me the most. I particularly like the story of the bunyip.

Those who are sensitive to such things (probably most of us, by now) will find the Preface offensive and patronizing. I very much doubt whether Aboriginal children, for example, would prefer to take their chances w
Scribbler King
Oct 16, 2010 Scribbler King rated it it was amazing
I adore fairy tales, and I could go on for hours about them, so I will attempt to be brief.

I definitely liked this book, perhaps better than some of Lang's other Fairy books. This is probably due to the fact that in almost every single one of them, there was someone who actually had brains!!!!! It was an exciting discovery, and if you've read many fairy tales in their original forms, you know what I mean. The girls especially seem to need help, but occasionally, (and this is especially true once
Feb 27, 2016 Erik rated it liked it
While I do like this book, this is probably my least-favorite of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books. Not too many of the stories were interesting, compared to the others which have lots of stories that captured my attention. There are some good ones, though.

My favorite stories:
- The Story of the Yara (the best one in the collection IMO)
- The Cunning Hare
- The Turtle and His Bride
- Habogi
- The Sacred Milk of Koumongoe
- Rubezahl (nice to see a German story from a source other than the Grimms!)
- Story of th
Jun 13, 2012 Maria rated it liked it
Shelves: in-2012, now-classic
I liked this book! It had quite a few different fairy tales from areas relatively unheard-of in fairy tales.

The ones I liked:

- The Bunyip
- The Story of the Yara
- The Turtle and his Bride
- How Geitald the Coward Was Punished
- Habogi
- The Husband of the Rat's Daughter
- The Enchanted Head
- The Prince and the Three Fates
- Stronger Than Fate
- The Story of Wali Dad the Simple-Hearted (Absolutely awesome)
- The Knights of Fish
This is a fairy tale book focusing on tales from Persia, Australia, Africa, India, New Caledonia, Brazil and Pre-Colonial Americas.

I liked the following stories:
Father Grumbler
Fortune and the Wood Cutter
The Lion and The Cat
The Knights of the Fish
Geirald the Coward
Wali Dad the Simple-Hearted
How Some Wild Animals Became Tame Ones
Sacred Milk of Koumongoe

The book also contained full color illustrations which beautiful tones and detailed drawings.
finally! and i used to chew through these when i was 7 or 8. as an adult what strikes me is the sheer messiness of structure of most of the stories. i gather this is a later collection so maybe lang had run out of the more obvious stories?

[no stars because it wasn't really a question of enjoyment or quality - they are what they are, and lang was what he was:]
Sep 04, 2009 drowningmermaid rated it liked it
I read these as a kid, and I could swear that I read more than two of them (I loved them because they had fairies in them), but now I can't remember a dang thing that happened in any of them, so they only get 3 stars.
Nora Peevy
Aug 31, 2014 Nora Peevy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This collection is varied and entertaining, like The Green Fairy Book. Though I found the introduction distasteful because of its racial remarks. But it was originally published in 1906, a different time in history. Still, I'm glad we've moved on from that time.
Warren Rochelle
Dec 21, 2010 Warren Rochelle rated it really liked it
I am struck, as I often am when reading fairy tales that are collected from all over the world at the similarities in the stories. These stories seem to be a part of what it means to be human.

On to The Orange Fairy Book!
Mar 24, 2008 Liza rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-teens
Absolutely loved this book as a child. Have very pleasant memories of being curled up comforably lost in its stories. It also definitely increased my desire to read more stories and histories of other countries.
May 17, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Enjoying the folk tales and the retellings, but definitely wondering how much has been changed or sanitized.
Oct 31, 2014 Aryanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't rally like the book it was like reading an instruction manual in a language that you don't understand
Jaeger Matthias
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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 Red 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 Orange Fairy Book
  • The Olive Fairy Book

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