Andrew Lang (1844–1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, and literary critic. Lang’s urge to collect and publish fairy tales was rooted in his own experience with the folk and fairy tales of his home territory along the English-Scottish border. At the time he worked, English fairy-tale collections were rare: Dinah Maria Mulock Craik’s The Fairy Book (1869) was a lonely precedent. When Lang began his efforts, he “was fighting against the critics and educationists of the day,” who judged the traditional tales’ “unreality, brutality, and escapism to be harmful for young readers, while holding that such stories were beneath the serious consideration of those of mature age.”
The series was immensely popular, helped by Lang’s reputation in folklore, and by the packaging device of the uniform books. The series proved of great influence in children’s literature, increasing the popularity of fairy tales over tales of real life. Download them, below, from the Internet Archive.