The Blue Fairy Book was one of the first and most successful of Andrew Lang’s famous Rainbow Books of Fairy Tales. It contains such classics as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rumplestilzkin, Puss in Boots, Goldie Locks, and Hansel and Gretel.
All in all, this collection contains 37 stories, all arranged in the clear, lively prose for which Lang was famous. Not only are Lang’s generally conceded to be the best English versions of standard stories, his collections are the richest and widest in range. His position as one of England’s foremost folklorists as well as his first-rate literary abilities makes his collection invaluable in the English language.
The first edition consisted of 5000 copies, which sold for 6 shillings each. The book assembled a wide range of tales, with seven from the Brothers Grimm, five from Madame d’Aulnoy, three from the Arabian Nights, and four Norwegian fairy tales, among other sources. The Blue Fairy Book was the first volume in the series and so it contains some of the best known tales, taken from a variety of sources.