Part of a series edited by Andrew Lang (see also The Red Fairy Book and The Violet Fairy Book and The Blue Fairy Book). This book retells stories from Hungary, Poland, Russia, and other more westerly European places. Great material to freak the mind into the Imaginatory ways of irrational thought. (Originally published in London in 1894.) I've included the Preface, as it holds a measure of sociological/historical significance, sheding light, as it does, on some of the turn-of-the-century politics in the renown Folk Lore Society.
JOAN, TODDLES, AND TINY
Books Violet, Red, and Green and Blue,
All true, or just as good as true,
And here's the Yellow Book for you!
Hard is the path from A to Zed
And puzzling to a curly head,
Yet leads to Books -- Green, Blue and Red
For every child should understand
That letters from the first were planned
To guide us into Fairy Land
So labour at your Alphabet,
For by that learning shall you get
To lands where Fairies may be met
The Editor thinks that children will readily forgive him for publishing another Fairy Book. We have had the Blue, the Red, the Green, and here is the Yellow. If children are pleased, and they are so kind as to say that they are pleased, the Editor does not care very much for what other people may say. Now, there is one gentleman who seems to think that it is not quite right to print so many fairy tales, with pictures, and to publish them in red and blue covers. He is named Mr. G. Laurence Gomme, and he is president of a learned body called the Folk Lore Society. Once a year he makes his address to his subjects, of whom the Editor is one, and Mr. Joseph Jacobs (who has published may delightful fairy tales with pretty pictures -- you may buy them from Mr. Nutt, in the Strand) is another. Fancy, then, the dismay of Mr. Jacobs, and of the Editor, when they heard their president say that he did not think it very nice in them to publish fairy books, above all, red, green, and blue fairy books! They said that they did not see any harm in it, and they were ready to "put themselves on their country," and be tried by a jury of children. And indeed, they still see no harm in what they have done; nay, like Father William in the poem, they are ready "to do again and again."
Where is the harm? The truth is that the Folk Lore Society -- made up of the most clever, learned, and beautiful men and women of the country -- is fond of studying the history and geography of Fairy Land. This is contained in very old tales, such as country people tell, and savages:
"Little Sioux and little Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo."
These people are thought to know most about fairyland and its inhabitants. But, in the Yellow Fairy Book, and the rest, are many tales by persons who are neither savages nor rustics, such as Madame D'Aulnoy and Herr Hans Christian Andersen. The Folk Lore Society, or its president, say that their tales are not so true as the rest, and should not be published with the rest. But we say that all the stories which are pleasant to read are quite true enough for us; so here they are, with pictures by Mr. Ford, and we do not think that either the pictures or the stories are likely to mislead children.
As to whether there are really any fairies or not, that is a difficult question. Professor Huxley thinks there are none. The Editor never saw any himself, but he knows several people who have seen them -- in the Highlands -- and heard their music. If ever you are in Nether Lochaber, go to the Fairy Hill, and you may hear the music yourself, as grown-up people have done, but you must go on a fine day. Again, if there are no fairies, why do people believe in them, all over the world? The ancient Greeks believe, so did the old Egyptians, and the Hindoos, and the Red Indians, and is it likely, if there are no fairies, that so many different peoples would have seen them? The Rev. mr. Baring-Gould saw several fairies when he was a boy, and was traveling the land of the Troubadours. For these reasons, the Editor thinks that there are certainly fairies, but they never do anyone any harm; and, in England, they have been frightened away by smoke and schoolmasters. As to Giants, they have died out, but real Dwarves are common in the forests of Africa. Probably a good many stories not perfectly true have been told about fairies, but such stories have also been told about Napoleon, Claverhouse, Julius Ceasar, and Joan of Arc, all of whom certainly existed. A wise child will, therefore, remember that, if he grows up and becomes a member of the Folk Lore Society, all the tales in this book were not offered to him as absolutely truthful, but were printed merely for his entertainment. The exact facts he can learn later, or he can leave them alone.
There are Russian, German, French, Icelandic, Red Indian, and other stories here. They were translated by Miss Cheape, Miss Alma, and Miss Thyra Alleyne, Miss Sellar, Mr. Craigie (he did the Icelandic tales), Miss Blackley, Mrs. Dent, and Mrs. Lang, but the Red Indian stories are copies from English versions published by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology. om America. Mr. Ford did the pictures, and it is hoped that children will find the book not less pleasing than those which have already been submitted to their consideration. The Editor cannot say "good-bye" without advising them, as they pursue their studies, to read The Rose and the Ring, by the late Mr. Thackeray, with pictures by the author. This book he thinks quite indispensable in every child's library, and parents should be urged to purchase it at the first opportunity, as without it no education is complete.
The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership
The Six Swans
The Dragon of the North
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Golden Crad
The Girl that Time Forgot
The Iron Stove
The Dragon and his Grandmother
The Donkey Cabbage
The Little Green Frog
The Seven-headed Serpent
The Grateful Beast
The Giants and the Herd-boy
The Invisible Prince
How Six Men ravelled through the Wide World
The Wizard King
The Story of the Untold Story
The Glass Mountain
Alphege, or the Green Monkey
The Three Bothers
The Boy and the Wolves, or the Broken Promise
The Glass Axe
The Dead Wife
In the Land of Souls
The White Duck
How Spikey the Werm found Meat and ate It without Flinching
The Witch and her Servants
The Magic Ring
The Flower Queen's Daughter
The Flying Ship
The Snow-daughter and the Fire-son
The Story of King Frost
The Death of the Sun-hero
The Hazel-nut Child
The Word without Meaning
The Story of Big Klaus and Little Klaus
How to tell a True Princess
The Blue Mountains
Longshanks the Shareholder of Enron (or, Crime in the Bushes)
The Witch in the Stone Boat
Hermod and Hardvor
The Steadfast Tin-soldier
A Story about a Darning-needle
Shall be Linked and Noded as Time allows, /msg me if you find pre-existing writeups.