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Andrew Lang

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Andrew Lang (March 31 1844 - July 20 1912) was a prolific Scots poet, novelist, and literary critic but is best known as the collector of folk and fairy tales.

Contents

Education

He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, St Andrews University and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a first class in the final classical schools in 1868, becoming a fellow and subsequently honorary fellow of Merton College. As a journalist, poet, critic and historian, he soon made a reputation as one of the ablest and most versatile writers of the day.

Professions

Poetry

His first publication was a volume of metrical experiments, The Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (1872), and this was followed at intervals by other volumes of dainty verse, Ballades in Blue China (1880, enlarged edition, 1888), Ballads and Verses Vain (1884), selected by Mr Austin Dobson; Rhymes à la Mode (1884), Grass of Parnassus (1888), Ban and Arrière Ban (1894), New Collected Rhymes (1905).

Scholarship

He collaborated with SH Butcher in a prose translation (1879) of the Odyssey, and with E Myers and Walter Leaf in a prose version (1883) of the Iliad, both of them remarkable for accurate scholarship and excellence of style. As a Homeric scholar, of conservative views, he took a high rank. His Homer and the Epic appeared in 1893; a new prose translation of The Homeric Hymns in 1899, with essays literary and mythological, in which parallels to the Greek myths are given from the traditions of savage races; and his Homer and his Age in 1906.

Journalism

His purely journalistic activity was from the first of a varied description, ranging from sparkling "leaders" for the Daily News to miscellaneous articles for the Morning Post, and for many years he was literary editor of Longman's Magazine; no critic was in more request, whether for occasional articles and introductions to new editions or as editor of dainty reprints.

As historian

To the study of Scottish history Lang brought a scholarly care for detail, a piquant literary style, and a gift for disentangling complicated questions. The Mystery of Mary Stuart (1901, new and revised ed., 1904) was a consideration of the fresh light thrown on Mary's history by the Lennox manuscripts in the University library, Cambridge, strengthening her case by restating the perfidy of her accusers.

He also wrote monographs on The Portraits and Jewels of Mary Stuart (1906) and James VI and the Gowrie Mystery (1902). The somewhat unfavourable view of John Knox presented in his book John Knox and the Reformation (1905) aroused considerable controversy. He gave new information about the continental career of the Young Pretender in Pickle the Spy (1897), an account of Alastair Ruadh Macdonell, whom he identified with Pickle, a notorious Hanoverian spy. This was followed in 1898 by The Companions of Pickle, and in 1900 by a monograph on Prince Charles Edward. In 1900 he began a History of Scotland from the Roman Occupation, the fourth volume of which (1907) brought Scottish history down to 1746. The Valet's Tragedy (1903), which takes its title from an essay on the "Man with the lron Mask," collects twelve papers on historical mysteries, and A Monk of Fife (1896) is a fictitious narrative purporting to be written by a young Scot in France in 1429-1431.

Folklore and anthropology

Lang's versatility was also shown in his works on folklore and on primitive religion. The earliest of these was Custom and Myth (1884); in Myth, Ritual and Religion (2 vols., 1887, French trans., 1896) he explained the irrational elements of mythology as survivals from earlier savagery; in The Making of Religion (an idealization of savage animism) he maintained the existence of high spiritual ideas among savage races, and instituted comparisons between savage practices and the ooccult phenomena among civilized races; he dealt with the origins of totemism in Social Origins, printed (1903) together with J. J. Atkinson's Primal Law.

Psychic research

He was one of the founders of the study of "Psychical Research," and his other writings on anthropology include The Book of Dreams and Ghosts (1897), Magic and Religion (1901) and The Secret of the Totem (1905).

Essayist

He carried the humour and sub-acidity of discrimination which marked his criticism of fellow folk-lorists into the discussion of purely literary subjects in his Books and Bookmen (1886), Letters to Dead Authors (1886), Letters on Literature (1889), etc.

The Fairy Books

His Blue Fairy Tale Book (1889), beautifully produced and illustrated, was followed annually at Christmas by a book of fairy tales and romances drawn from many sources.

Literary editor

He edited The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (1896), and was responsible for the Life and Letters (1897) of JG Lockhart, and The Life, Letters and Diaries (1890) of Sir Stafford Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh.

Works

To 1889

  • The Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (1872)
  • The Odyssey Of Homer Rendered Into English Prose (1879) translator with Samuel Henry Butcher
  • Aristotle's Politics (1877)
  • The Folklore of France (1878)
  • XXII Ballades in Blue China (1880)
  • Oxford. Brief historical & descriptive notes (1880)
  • Notes on Pictures by Millais (1881)
  • The Black Thief (1882)
  • Helen of Troy (1882) poems
  • The Most Pleasant and Delectable Tale of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche (1882) with William Aldington
  • The Iliad of Homer, a prose translation (1883) with Walter Leaf and Ernest Myers
  • Custom and Myth (1884)
  • The Princess Nobody: A Tale of Fairyland (1884)
  • Ballads and Verses Vain (1884) selected by Austin Dobson
  • Rhymes à la Mode (1884)
  • Much Darker Days (1884)
  • That Very Mab (1885) with May Kendall
  • Books and Bookmen (1886)
  • Letters to Dead Authors (1886)
  • In the Wrong Paradise (1886) stories
  • The Mark of Cain (1886) novel
  • Lines on the Shelley Society (1886)
  • Almae matres (1887)
  • He (1887) parody
  • Aucassin and Nicolete (1887)
  • Myth, Ritual and Religion (2 vols., 1887)
  • Johnny Nut and the Golden Goose. Done into English from the French of Charles Deulin (1887)
  • Grass of Parnassus (1888) poems
  • Perrault's Popular Tales (1888)
  • Gold of Fairnilee (1888)
  • Pictures at Play or Dialogues of the Galleries (1888) with W. E. Henley
  • The Idyls Of Theocritus, Bion & Moschus (1889) translator
  • Prince Prigio (1889)
  • The Blue Fairy Book (1889)
  • Letters on Literature (1889)
  • Lost Leaders (1889)
  • Ode to Golf (1889)
  • The Dead Leman and other tales from the French (1889) translator with Paul Sylvester

1890-1899

  • The Red Fairy Book (1890)
  • The World's Desire (1890) with H. Rider Haggard
  • Old Friends: Essays in Epistolary Parody (1890)
  • The Strife of Love in a Dream, Being the Elizabethan Version of the First Book of the Hypnerotomachia of Francesco Colonna (1890)
  • The Life, Letters and Diaries of Sir Stafford Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh. (1890)
  • Etudes traditionnists (1890)
  • How to Fail in Literature (1890)
  • The Blue Poetry Book (1891)
  • Essays in Little (1891)
  • On Calais Sands (1891)
  • The Green Fairy Book (1892)
  • The Library with a Chapter on Modern English Illustrated Books (1892) with Austin Dobson
  • William Young Sellar (1892)
  • The True Story Book (1893)
  • Homer and the Epic (1893)
  • Prince Ricardo of Pantouflia (1893)
  • Waverley Novels, 48 volumes (1893) editor
  • St. Andrews (1893)
  • Montezuma's Daughter (1893) with H. Rider Haggard
  • The Yellow Fairy Book (1894)
  • Kirk's Secret Commonwealth (1893)
  • St Andrews (1893)
  • The Tercentenary of Izaak Walton (1893)
  • Ban and Arrière Ban (1894)
  • Cock Lane and Common-Sense (1894)
  • Memoir of R. F. Murray (1894)
  • The Red True Story Book (1895)
  • My Own Fairy Book (1895)
  • Angling Sketches (1895)
  • A Monk of Fife (1895)
  • The Voices of Jeanne D'Arc (1895)
  • The Animal Story Book (1896)
  • The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (1896) editor
  • The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart (1896) two volumes
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book (1897)
  • The Miracles of Madame Saint Katherine of Fierbois (1897) translator
  • The Pink Fairy Book (1897)
  • A Book of Dreams and Ghosts (1897)
  • Pickle the Spy (1897)
  • Modern Mythology (1897)
  • The Companions of Pickle (1898)
  • The Arabian Nights Entertainments (1898)
  • The Making of Religion (1898)
  • Selections from Coleridge (1898)
  • Waiting on the Glesca Train (1898)
  • The Red Book of Animal Stories (1899)
  • The Homeric Hymns (1899) translator
  • The Works of Charles Dickens in Thirty-four Volumes (1899) editor

1900-1909

  • The Grey Fairy Book (1900)
  • Prince Charles Edward (1900)
  • Parson Kelly (1900)
  • The Poems and Ballads of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. (1900) editor
  • A History of Scotland - From the Roman Occupation (1900 – 1907)) four volumes
  • Notes and Names in Books (1900)
  • Alfred Tennyson (1901)
  • Magic and Religion (1901)
  • Adventures Among Books (1901)
  • The Violet Fairy Book (1901)
  • The Mystery of Mary Stuart (1901, new and revised ed., 1904)
  • The Book of Romance (1902)
  • The Disentanglers (1902) stories
  • James VI and the Gowrie Mystery (1902)
  • Notre-Dame Of Paris (1902) translator
  • The Young Ruthvens (1902)
  • The Gowrie Conspiracy: the Confessions of Sprott (1902) editor
  • The Crimson Fairy Book (1903)
  • Lyrics (1903)
  • Social England Illustrated (1903) editor
  • The Story of the Golden Fleece (1903)
  • The Valet's Tragedy (1903)
  • Social Origins (1903) with Primal Law by James Jasper Atkinson
  • The Snowman and Other Fairy Stories (1903)
  • Stella Fregelius: A Tale of Three Destinies (1903) with H. Rider Haggard
  • The Brown Fairy Book (1904)
  • Historical Mysteries (1904)
  • The Secret of the Totem (1905)
  • New Collected Rhymes (1905)
  • John Knox and the Reformation (1905)
  • The Puzzle of Dickens's Last Plot (1905)
  • The Clyde Mystery. A Study in Forgeries and Folklore (1905)
  • Adventures among Books (1905)
  • Homer and His Age (1906)
  • The Red Romance Book (1906)
  • The Orange Fairy Book (1906)
  • The Portraits and Jewels of Mary Stuart (1906)
  • Life of Sir Walter Scott (1906)
  • The Story of Joan of Arc (1906)
  • New and Old Letters to Dead Authors (1906)
  • Tales of a Fairy Court (1907)
  • The Olive Fairy Book (1907)
  • Poets' Country (1907) editor, with Churton Collins, W. J. Loftie, E. Hartley Coleridge, Michael Macmillan
  • The King over the Water (1907)
  • Tales of Troy and Greece (1907)
  • The Origins of Religion (1908) essays
  • The Book of Princes and Princesses (1908)
  • Origins of Terms of Human Relationships (1908)
  • Select Poems of Joan Ingelow (1908) editor
  • Three Poets of French Bohemia (1908)
  • The Red Book of Heroes (1909)
  • The Marvellous Musician and Other Stories (1909)
  • Sir George Mackenzie King's Advocate, of Rosehaugh, His Life and Times (1909)

1910-1912

  • The Lilac Fairy Book (1910)
  • Does Ridicule Kill? (1910);
  • Sir Walter Scott and the Border Minstrelsy (1910)
  • The World of Homer (1910)
  • The All Sorts of Stories Book (1911)
  • Ballades and Rhymes (1911)
  • Method in the Study of Totemism (1911)
  • The Book of Saints and Heroes (1912)
  • Shakespeare, Bacon and the Great Unknown (1912)
  • A History of English Literature (1912)
  • In Praise of Frugality (1912)
  • Ode on a Distant Memory of Jane Eyre (1912)
  • Ode to the Opening Century (1912)

Posthumous

  • Highways and Byways in The Border (1913) with John Lang
  • The Strange Story Book (1913) with Mrs. Lang
  • The Poetical Works (1923) edited by Mrs. Lang, four volumes
  • Old Friends Among the Fairies: Puss in Boots and Other Stories. Chosen from the Fairy Books (1926)
  • Tartan Tales From Andrew Lang (1928) edited by Bertha L. Gunterman
  • From Omar Khayyam (1935)

Reference


External link


Andrew Lang was also an NBA basketball player who played with the Phoenix Suns, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks, mainly in the role of backup center.

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