It is almost impossible to envision what childhood would be like without the enchanting world of fairyland. The goat-faced girl, Prunella, the three sons of Hali, giants and dwarfs, monsters and magicians, fairies and ogres—these are the companions who thrill young boys and girls of all lands and times, as Andrew Lang's phenomenally successful collections of stories have proved. From the day that they were first printed, the Lang fairy tale books of many colors have entertained thousands of boys and girls, as they have also brought pleasure to the many parents who have read these unforgettable classics to their children.
The Grey Fairy Book includes many strange, exotic stories from Lithuania, Africa, Germany, Greece, and France. But they are all told in the common language of the fairy tale, and their events will be familiar to children and grown-ups alike. The donkey who turns into a prince, a spinning wheel that turns moss into silk, revengeful fairies, and ogre-like fathers of lovely daughters strike responsive chords in readers, even when they appear in new circumstances.
All in all, this collection contains 35 stories, all narrated in the clear, lively prose for which Lang was famous. Not only are Lang's generally conceded to be the best English versions of standard stories, his collections are the richest and widest in range. His position as one of England's foremost folklorists as well as his first-rate literary abilities makes his collections unmatchable in the English Language.
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