LANG, Andrew (author). H.J. FORD (illustrator). The Blue Fairy Book. London, Longmans, Green And Co. 1889.
8vo. Original dark blue cloth elaborately and pictorially blocked in gilt to spine and upper board, all edges gilt, matt black endpapers; pp. viii + 390 + 16, publisher's catalogue dated August 1889; with pictorial title, frontispiece, and a host of engraved illustrations throughout by H.J. Ford; a very good copy with some overall rubbing and dulling to spine gilt with small abrasions at head and foot, without frontispiece tissue, slight mottling to fore-edge of upper board, bruising to spine ends with 2 tiny surface nicks to cloth to tail (3mm) and small wear to forecorner tips, inner hinges cracked and expertly and invisibly reglued; internally clean and sound with a small vertical ruck to extreme fore-edge margin of preface leaf, a little diffuse foxing to a couple of prelim pages, and one or two small internal thumb marks but generally very nice; very scarce.
First edition of the first, and most highly-prized, volume in the series of 12 popular coloured fairy books by Lang. It was published in a restricted edition of only 5,000 copies. Being the touchstone of the collection it contains some of the best-known fairy tales including a selection of seven from the Brothers Grimm, three from the Arabian Nights, four from the Norwegian folk tradition, and five from the French of Madame d'Aulnoy. Included are: "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"; "Beauty and the Beast"; "Aladdin"; "Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper"; "Little Red Riding Hood"; "Sleeping Beauty"; "Hansel and Grethel" and "Bluebeard", among many others.