Skip to main content

Andrew Lang

(1844 - 1912)

Andrew Lang was a Scottish poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to anthropology and folklore. He is best known for his colourful fairy tale collections, which have captivated children and adults alike for generations. Born in Selkirk, Lang was a gifted student, later attending the University of St. Andrews and Oxford University, where he showed a particular affinity for classics and ancient literature.

Lang's work displays immense breadth; he authored historical texts, literary criticisms, translations, and poetry. However, his enduring legacy lies in the Fairy Books — a series of twelve illustrated anthologies each titled by colour, such as "The Blue Fairy Book" (1889) and "The Red Fairy Book" (1890). These compilations brought together an assortment of global fairy tales and cemented Lang as a central figure in the popularisation of folklore.

Beyond fairy tales, Lang made contributions to the field of psychical research and was a proponent of the existence of psychic phenomena. He also embraced advancements in anthropology, and his critiques in various other scholarly and literary domains were widely influential.

In addition to his own writings, Lang's collaborations with his wife, Leonora Blanche Alleyne, on translation and editorial work were significant. Despite his scholarly pursuits and contributions to academia, Lang considered himself primarily a journalist and was lauded for his clear, engaging, and accessible style.

Short Stories member since August 2019