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Andrew Lang  The Animal Story Book  1896

Andrew Lang Andrew Lang The Animal Story Book First edition 1896 “Children who

SKU: 364115376135191



Andrew Lang The Animal Story Book First edition 1896

“Children who have read our Fairy Books may have noticed that there are not so very many fairies in the stories after all. The most common characters are birds, beasts, and fishes, who talk and act like Christians.


Andrew Lang is probably best- known for his Fairy Book series, beginning with The Blue Fairy book in 1889 and ending with The Lilac Fairy Book in 1910. “He was born in 1844 in Selkirk, Scotland and educated at Edinburgh Academy, St Andrew’s University and Balliol college, Oxford. He collaborated on translations of the Odyssey and the Iliad   as well as working as a free-lance journalist for the Daily News.  Lang also worked with H. Rider Haggard on a novel, The World’s Desire (1890) and as a reviewer/publisher’s reader, he forwarded the careers of Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Waler de la Mare, F. Anstey, and E. Nesbitt. He died in 1912.” [Collecting Children’s Books 2007]


Dedicated to Master Frederick Longman

‘This year our Book for Christmas varies

Deals not with History nor Fairies

(I can’t help thinking, children, you

Prefer a book which is not true).

We leave these intellectual feasts,

To talk of Fishes, Birds, and Beasts.

These -though his aim is hardly steady –

These are, I think a theme for Freddy!

Trout, though he is not up to fly,

He soon will catch – as well as I!

So, Freddy, take this artless rhyme,

And be a Sportsman in your time!


He writes in the preface “after offering, then, so many Fairy Books, (though the stories are not all told yet), we now present you (in return for a coin or two) with a book about the friends of children and fairies - the beasts. The stories are all true, more or less, but it is possible that Monsieur Dumas and Monsieur Theophile Gautier rather improved upon their tales.”

Amongst the pages are stories by a number of different authors:

  • The longer stories from Monsieur Dumas were translated from the French by Miss Cheape.
  • ‘A Rat Tale’ by Miss Evelyn Grieve who knew the rats.
  • ‘Mr Gully’ is by Miss Elspeth Campbell to whom Mr Gully belonged.
  • ‘The Dogs of Montargis’, ‘More Faithful than Favoured,’ and ‘Androcles’ are by Miss Eleanor Sellar.
  • Snakes, Bears, Ants, Wolves, Monkeys, and some Lions are by Miss Lang.
  • ‘Two highland Dogs’ is by Miss Goodrich Freer.
  • ‘Fido’ and ‘Oscar’ are by Miss A. M. Alleyn.
  • ‘Djijam’ is by his maters.
  • ‘The Starling of Segringen,’and ‘Grateful Dogs’ are by Mr Bartells.
  • ‘Tom the Bear,’ ‘The Frog,’ ‘Jacko the Monkey’ and Gazelle are from Dumas by Miss Blackley.
  • All the rest are by Mrs Lang.


About the Book: 

Collectable, First Edition, Children’s Classic Literature

Hardback in blue cloth with gilt lion on the front board and gilt title and small fading gilt bear on the spine. Pages have gilt edges and coated black end papers.

Edition: 1st Edition 1896

Publisher: Longmans, Green and Co, London, New York, and Bombay

Size: 7.5” x 5” (19cm x 12.5cm)   400 Pages

Illustrated throughout: 66 superb black and white illustrations by the successful English artist and illustrator Henry Justice Ford.

Condition:  Good, fairly clean copy, with good colouring. May have marks, creasing and other signs of wear. Inscription on title page and front free end paper.

Boards: Blue boards have age related wear, bumping, fading, and are a little grubby around the edges. Small stain and scratch marks on left-hand middle of back cover.

Binding: Tight within the pages and slight lean on the covers. A tear in the middle of guttering from the page ‘list of illustrations and page 1.

Spine: The gilt bear and lettering on the spine are fading. Some wear on ends and along guttering.

Pages.  Overall bright and clean. Gilt edge pages. Frontispiece complete with tissue guard. Age toned on extreme edges with some slight foxing.  A crack along the guttering between Front free end paper and the title page but scrim intact and pages secure.  Light scattered spotting to the edges of the text block, the odd small spot to contents but overall bright and clean.





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