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The Red Fairy Book

(Coloured Fairy Books #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,949 ratings  ·  113 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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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,949 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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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
Hiba Arrame
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another one from the colored fairy books gone, ten left.
The stories are so enjoyable, especially as an audiobook.
Feb 22, 2010 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
May 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
There's no telling what you'll read in these very imaginative and quite violent tales; pig-men, polygamy, fratricide, and racism are woven throughout with no action, response, or plot point too ridiculous or extreme. The moral of these stories are that all stepmothers are evil, dark or ugly is bad, and white and beautiful is good. And should these things become confused, no worries fairies will set them straight. Oh and check twice to see if the woman in your bed is really your wife.

“So the lazy
Abby Hagler
May 18, 2011 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
Elinor  Loredan
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Princess Mayblossom
The Enchanted Pig
Princess Rosette
Graciosa and Percinet (this ones especially! So magical)
The Golden Branch
The Nettle Spinner
The Enchanted Canary
Bushy Bride
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I think I like my fairy tales in smaller doses - this book felt MUCH longer to me than the page numbers would indicate. Part of it was that lots were so similar - there were so many stories with a beautiful kind sister and an ugly mean sister. Or with handsome mean brothers and a plain kind brother - hmmm..... And there were many trolls with increasingly many heads that had to be killed. That said, it was fun seeing some of the classics in a more original form.
Jennifer Girard

Again no surprise here, exactly what to expect. I liked to see some of the older version of my favorite fairy tales! Some are boring and most are repetitive.
Mar 06, 2016 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
I first encountered the Lang collection, often called the Colored Fairy Books because of their titles (Blue, Olive, Crimson, etc.) when I was an elementary school student. I enjoyed them because they were so different from the sanitized, prissy princess, children's versions. We forget that fairy tales were not originally for children and were not created as vehicles for which to market toys and Happy Meals. They were oral entertainment, often grisly and cutting social or political commentary mor ...more
Mary Catelli
Jun 20, 2013 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.

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Over 37 stories in this one, the most I've seen so far. I recognize Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Golden Goose.

Jack and the Beanstalk was good but more detailed than the movies I remember. Rapunzel is one of the best stories but sadly short. I had to laugh at myself for missing that Snowdrop was actually Snow White, forgot about that - you have to wonder with how braindead the girl ended up being three times in a row if she deserved so much saving!

Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I actually liked this a little bit better than the first one.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys fairy tales and fantasy
It almost goes without saying that The Red Fairy Book is another enchanting installment of Andrew Lang's Fairy Book collection. Being one of the earlier books, it features illustrations not only of the excellent H.J. Ford, but of another artist named Lancelot Speed. I enjoyed Speed's drawings; they always looked elegant, with sumptuous detail. But they tended to be much less faithful to the stories than Ford's pictures. For example, Speed's illustrations in the story "Farmer Weatherbeard", his p ...more
Carla Remy
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Some very original (not the fairy tales you've heard before) tales, and some I had to skip through. I love Lang's clear Edwardian writing style. I still have some of the Dover reprints of these with the color covers (matching the color of the titles). I even have this one (though I hadn't read it). Over the years I believe I had read blue, green and purple. Now I bought his entire series for kindle... for $1.
Heydi Smith
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
Absolutely memorable. So many tales all in one book. Loved it!!
P.S. Winn
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book not only has over thirty great tales, readers will find the illustrations included enhance the stories and make the reading more fun.
May 30, 2014 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
Diane ~Firefly~
There are 12 books in this series, and in just this one book I felt I read the same stories over and over again.

Save 3 princesses by slaying 3 trolls with each having 3 more heads than the other. Cinderella, Red Robin Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel and Snow White type stories. Was there ever a good stepmother in the past? And why do the men marry such awful creatures? And don't get me started on the princesses, insta-love and putting up with anything the men do.

These really don't giv
Jul 21, 2011 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
Apr 11, 2016 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
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 13, 2010 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
Feb 20, 2015 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.
Moral of the tale...pretty princesses must suffer in the hands of ugly step family and then rescued by King or prince...not very encouraging
Mar 31, 2015 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
Adora Rose
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I remember reading this series while babysitting my cousin. The illustrations were wonderful and I loved the darker take on fairy tales, as I had heard them only Disney-fied previously. I hadn't been a huge fan of fairy tales as a child because they were too far removed from reality as I knew it-- there was very little magic in my life and I was far too pragmatic (see: stubborn) to get into them.

I was shocked, however, when I read 'The Enchanted Canary' and it laid bare a reality of fairy tales
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairytales, fantasy
This is a pretty nice selection of fairy tales, though I did get a bit tired of the heavy focus on princess tales. I know that princes and princesses are a big part of fairy tales, but the ones here started feeling a bit samey and kind of annoying. The worst was definitely The Golden Branch, which seems largely to be about how by doing good you'll be rewarded with great beauty, a moral I'm not very fond of. However, there were also some pretty fun stories with princesses, such as Princess Rosett ...more
Kimberly McCollum
I have been on a fairy tale kick lately and I enjoyed this collection of fairy tales. There were a few of interesting ones that I had never heard before. I especially enjoyed The Master Thief ,The Enchanted Canary, and The Nettle Spinner. There were others that were well known to me, but not in the version contained in this collection (Jack and the Beanstalk, The Ratcatcher). Some were repeats of stories I had read in Grimm's Fairy Tales. Others were similar to stories that I've read before, but ...more
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Into the Forest: Red Fairy Book 44 25 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

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
“...remember that the danger that is most to be feared is never the danger we are most afraid of.” 24 likes
“Why should I laugh?' asked the old man. 'Madness in youth is true wisdom. Go, young man, follow your dream, and if you do not find the happiness that you seek, at any rate you will have had the happiness of seeking it.” 11 likes
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