The Selected Writings of Andrew Lang  book cover
1st Edition

The Selected Writings of Andrew Lang

Edited By

Tom Hubbard

ISBN 9781848931480
Published November 28, 2016 by Routledge
492 Pages

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Book Description

A novelist, poet, literary critic and anthropologist, Andrew Lang is best known for his publications on folklore, mythology and religion; many have grown up with the ‘colour’ Fairy Books which he compiled between 1889 and 1910. This three volume set presents a selection of his work in these areas. The first volume covers the general and theoretical aspects of Lang’s work on folklore, mythology and anthropology along with the tools and concepts which he used in his often combative contributions to these inter-related disciplines. As a companion to the first volume, the second is comprised of various case studies made by Lang, ranging from ‘The Aryan Races of Peru’ and ‘The Folk-lore of France’ to ‘Irish Fairies’ and ‘The Ballads, Scottish and English’. The third volume arranges his literary criticism, first by geo-cultural context and then chronologically. It begins with Lang’s views on the nature and purpose of fiction, then presents samples of his work on some of the most important authors in the respective canons of French, American, Scottish and English literature including Victor Hugo, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Burns and Charles Dickens among many others, mainly of the nineteenth century.

Collectively, the General Introduction to the set and the Introductions to the individual volumes offer a thorough overview of Lang’s work in an astonishing variety of fields, including his translation work on Homer and his contributions to historiography (particularly Scottish). The Introduction to Volume III sets Lang within the context of the literature of his times, comparing and contrasting him with significant contemporaries. Headnotes to the individual items are of varying length and provide more detail on specific topics, and explanatory notes supply unique intellectual comment rather than merely factual information.

Table of Contents

Volume I: Folklore, Mythology, Anthropology (General and Theoretical)




General Introduction


Note on the Texts


Introduction to Volume I


‘Mythology and Fairy Tales’, Fortnightly Review, May 1873


‘Mr. Max Müller’s Philosophy of Mythology’, Fraser’s Magazine, August 1881


‘Mythology’, Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1911, revised from 1884


‘The Method of Folklore’, in his Custom and Myth, 1884, 1885


‘The Romance of the First Radical’, in his In the Wrong Paradise and other stories, 1886


[The Two Moods], in his Myth, Ritual and Religion, 1887, rev. 1899


‘The President’s [i.e. Lang’s] Address’, Papers and Transactions: International Folklore Congress, 1891, 1892


‘Savage Spiritualism’, in his Cock-Lane and Common Sense, 1894


‘The Ghost Theory of the Origin of Religion’, in his Cock-Lane and Common Sense, 1894


‘Literary Fairy-Tales’, Introduction to Little Johannes, 1894


[On William Morris and Samuel Butler; literary treatment of myth; Homer], Cosmopolis (Paris), 1898


[On J.G. Frazer, Archibald Sayce, and Flinders Petrie], Cosmopolis, 1898


[On J.G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough], Folk-lore, 1901


‘Mr. Tyler’s Theory of Borrowing’, in his Magic and Religion, 1901


[On Émile Durkheim’s theory of the origin of society], Longman’s Magazine, 1904

‘The Comparative Study of Early Epics’, in his Homer and His Age, 1906


‘Method and the Study of Totemism’, The American Anthropologist, 1912


‘The Origin of Belief in a God’, The Athenaeum, 1912



Volume II: Folklore, Mythology, Anthropology (Case Studies)


 Introduction to Volume II


‘The Aryan Races of Peru’, Macmillan’s Magazine, 1873


[Review of Charles Deulin, Contes du roi Gambrinus], The Academy, 1874


‘The Folk-Lore of France’, Folk-Lore Record, 1878


‘The Early History of the Family’, Contemporary Review, 1883


‘Anthropology and the Vedas’, Folk-Lore Journal, 1883


‘The "Kalevala"’, in his Custom and Myth, 1884, 1885


‘In the Wrong Paradise’, in his In the Wrong Paradise, 1886


‘On Books About Red Men’, in his Letters on Literature, 1889


‘The Wonders of Mexico’, in his The True Story Book, 3rd ed., 1893


‘Cinderella and the Diffusion of Tales’, Folk-Lore, 1893


‘Irish Fairies’, Illustrated London News, 1893


‘A Creelful of Celtic Stories’, Blackwood’s Magazine, 1898


‘The Ballads. Scottish and English’, Chambers Cyclopedia of English Literature, v. 1, 1905


‘Notes on Ballad Origins’, Folk-Lore, 1903


Introduction to Australian Legendary Tales, ed. K. Langloh Parker, 1894


Introduction to K. Langloh Parker, The Euahlayi Tribe, 1905


‘The Alcheringa and the All Father’, Revue des études ethnographiques et sociologiques, 1909


Introduction to Elphinstone Dayrell, Folk Stories of Southern Nigeria, 1910


‘The Poltergeist Mystery: Andrew Lang discusses phenomena which occur everywhere’, New York Times, 1910



Volume III: Literary Criticism  


Introduction to Volume III


General topics


‘Realism and Romance’, Contemporary Review, 1887


‘Unhappy Marriages in Fiction’, North American Review, 1889


‘The Last Fashionable Novel’, in his Essays in Little, 1891


‘"Tendencies" in Fiction’, North American Review, 1895


‘The Supremacy of the Novelist’, 1909, in Andrew Lang and St Andrews: a Centenary Anthology, 1944


French literature


‘Alexandre Dumas’, Scribner’s Magazine, 1889


‘Victor Hugo’s Novels’, in Notre Dame de Paris, The French Classical Romances, ed. Edmund Gosse, 1902


Introduction to Edmond About, The King of the Mountains, 1899


‘French Novels and French Life’, The North American Review, 1892


‘Emile Zola’, Fortnightly Review, 1882


[On Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac], Longman’s Magazine, 1898


American literature


[On Washington Irving], in his History of English Literature from ‘Beowulf’ to Swinburne, 2nd ed., revised, 1912


‘Brahma’ [parody of the poem with the same title by R.W. Emerson], Daily News, 1888


‘Edgar Allan Poe’, The Independent (New York), 1899


‘To Edgar Allan Poe’, in his Letters to Dead Authors, 1889


‘Nathaniel Hawthorne’, in his Adventures Among Books, 1905


‘Oliver Wendell Holmes’, in his Adventures Among Books, 1905


[On Emily Dickinson: extracts from Lang’s articles on her from the Daily News and the Illustrated London News during 1891.]


‘American Humour’, in his Lost Leaders, 1889


‘The Art of Mark Twain’, Illustrated London News, 1891


‘To W.D.H.’, Longman’s Magazine, 1892


[On Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage], Longman’s Magazine, 1896


Scottish literature


‘Robert Burns’, [introduction to] The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, 1896


‘Scott’, in his Poet’s Country, 1907


Introduction to Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman, 1894


[On J.G. Lockhart’s novel Adam Blair] in his introduction to The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart, 1897


‘Hogg’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner’, Illustrated London News, 1894

[On Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde], Scots Observer, January 1889


[On Robert Louis Stevenson’s Catriona], Longman’s Magazine, 1893


‘Mr. J.M. Barrie’s "The Little Minister"’, Illustrated London News, 1891


‘The Celtic Renascence’, Blackwood’s Magazine,1897


[Review of John Buchan’s Scholar Gypsies], Cosmopolis, 1896


Introduction to Cuthbert Lennox, George Douglas Brown, Author of The House with the Green Shutters, 1903


‘The Novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’, Quarterly Review, 1904


English literature


‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Harper’s Magazine, 1895

‘Charlotte Brontë’, Good Words, 1889.


‘General Essay on the Works of Charles Dickens’, The Gad’s Hill Edition of Charles Dickens’s Works, v. 34, 1899


Introduction to The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Gad’s Hill Edition of Charles Dickens’s Works, v. 33, 1899


[On George Gissing’s Charles Dickens], Longman’s Magazine, 1898


‘The Plumber and the Publisher’, Recreations of the Rabelais Club, 1882-1885, 1885


‘Impressions of Swinburne’, The Nation, 1906


[On Walter Pater’s Miscellaneous Essays], Cosmopolis, 1896


[On the poetry of Francis Thompson], Cosmopolis, 1897


Thomas Hardy


[Review of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd], The Academy, 1875)


[On Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles], New Review, 1892, and Longman’s Magazine, 1892


‘Considerations on a Conversation’ (on Thomas Hardy), The Independent (New York) 1901



Chronology of Lang’s life




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