The Blue Fairy Book.London: Longman, Green & Co., 1889 Stock Code: 132247
Large paper copyFirst edition, large paper copy, number 13 of 113 copies, the deluxe limited issue of the first in Lang's series of "coloured" fairy books, which continued through to The Lilac Fairy Book in 1910. Only four of the titles (Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow) from the series of 12 were issued in this deluxe format. The Blue Fairy Book was immediately successful, and the series effected a seismic shift in the public's taste for fairytales. Unprecedented in the international scope of its sources, the success of the series also owes much "to the devoted work of their illustrator, who... provided a benchmark in fantasy illustration" (Grolier).
Though it is Andrew Lang's name which appears as the author of the fairy books, they were largely the result of the work of others, most crucially female translators such as his wife, Leonora (1851-1933) and others such as May Kendall and Margaret Hunt, both of whom also published fairy tales collections in their own name. Lang acknowledged this in the preface to The Lilac Fairy Book (1910): "The fairy books have been almost wholly the work of Mrs. Lang, who has translated and adapted them from the French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and other languages".
Quarto. Original white and grey boards, titles to spine in blue, raised bands to spine, edges untrimmed, partly unopened.
With numerous illustrations by H. J. Ford and G. P. Jacomb Hood.
Bookplate to front pastedown. Spine cleaned and a little sunned and soiled, joints with superficial splits, minor wear around extremities, endpapers toned. A very good copy.
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