Sunday, 22 April 2012

Reading Rainbow (L is for Andrew Lang)

image from Great Books Education
Fairy tales and legends are some of the most influential stories since the beginning of human history. They define the social norms, values, morals, fears, and expectations of any given culture, and they contain themes that echo around the world and across a variety of nations. Themes, characters, and locales from these stories are still seen in literature today, and many writers model their own stories based on these classic tales (whether they realize it or not).

A good place to get a broad overview of fairy tales from around the world are in Andrew Lang's coloured fairy books. There are 12 volumes in total, and they cover stories ranging from the Brother's Grimm, to Madame D'Aulnoy, to stories from the Arabian Nights. The collection isn't meant to be comprehensive (it's not even possible to cover all the stories), but Lang's volumes give the reader a taste of the familiar and of the unknown, so they're a great starting place for anyone wishing to explore the realms of fairytales.

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