THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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vi
PREFACE
melancholy circumstance which threatens to deprive us of our chief esculent root. The inquirer would never be undeceived. One nymph who, like the rest, could not keep off the horrid topic of my occupation, said ' You never write anything but fairy books, do you ?' A French gentleman, too, an educationist and expert in portraits of Queen Mary, once sent me a newspaper article in which he had written that I was exclusively devoted to the composition of fairy books, and nothing else. He then came to England, visited me, and found that I knew rather more about portraits of Queen Mary than he did.
In truth I never did write any fairy books in my life, except ' Prince Prigio,' ' Prince Ricardo,' and ' Tales from a Fairy Court'—that of the aforesaid Prigio. I take this opportunity of recommending these fairy books—poor things, but my own—to parents and guardians who may never have heard of them. They are rich in romantic adventure, and the Princes always marry the right Princesses and live happy ever after­wards ; while the wicked witches, stepmothers, tutors and governesses are never cruelly punished, but retire to the country on ample pensions. I hate cruelty : I never put a wicked stepmother in a barrel and send her tobogganing down a hill. It is true that Prince Ricardo did kill the Yellow Dwarf ; but that was in fair fight, sword in hand, and the dwarf, peace to his ashes ! died in harness.
The object of these confessions is not only that of advertising my own fairy books (which are not ' out of print' ; if your bookseller says so, the truth is not in him), but of giving credit where credit is due. The
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