The Olive Fairy Book

by Andrew Lang

The Olive Fairy Book

This book is a collection of traditional tales. The collection was assembled by Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang although authorship of the stories is unknown. Lang published several collections of traditional tales, collectively known as Andrew Lang's Fairy Books.

Source: Lang, A. (Ed.). (1907). The Olive Fairy Book. London: Longmans, Green & Co.

Jackal or Tiger?
A king and his wife make a bet, but the result is unfair to the queen, who is banished to the forest. There a farmer takes her in and she raises her son until he is eighteen. He leaves in search of adventure, only to find himself at his father’s castle. He is given seemingly impossible tasks, which he completes with the help of a fairy. Finally, the king is taught the error of his ways.
The Prince and the Princess in the Forest
A prince and his mother set off into the world after the king’s death. The son is brave and clever, while his mother is a coward. She tricks him to help a robber in order to save her own life. The prince rescues a princess, and in turn is rescued by the princess. They are wed, and would live happily, but curiosity leads them both into trouble once more.The prince must find his way back to the princess and avenge himself against the robber and the wrongs committed by his mother.
The Satin Surgeon
A king has two daughters, though one is ugly and cruel and the other beautiful and kind. A prince is supposed to be promised to the former, but falls in love with the latter. The bitter sister and the king send away the younger princess to a tower where she is trapped. The prince tries to see his princess, but is harmed by the plans of the elder sister.The princess escapes her tower and sets off to save the prince she loves.
The Silent Princess
A spoiled young boy torments an old woman, who curses him to fall in love with the silent princess. He decides he must go into the world and seek this princess, or die. He comes to learn that many others have lost their lives trying to get the silent princess to speak. Luckily, he befriends a nightingale who helps him in his challenges.
The Snake Prince
An old woman who has nothing finds a snake in her water jar, and wishes for death. Instead, she discovers a necklace, which earns her wealth. The king buys the necklace, but finds it replaced with the son he so desires.The prince and princess are wed, but she wishes to know the secret of the prince. He warns her of the consequences, which come to pass when he reveals the secret. The princess must work to break the enchantment to get back her prince.
The Story of Zoulvisia
Many are enchanted by the mountains but none leave alive. A family loses their seven sons to the mountain until the youngest sets out to try to do what his brothers could not. He manages to break the enchantment, and meets Zoulvisia. Out of kindness, he brings an old woman back to the palace, despite the misgivings of others. The woman is a witch, and Zoulvisia reveals secrets to her that put their lives in danger. The prince and Zoulvisia plan her escape.
  • Year Published: 1907
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 3.4
  • Word Count: 26,685
  • Genre: Fairy Tale/Folk Tale
  • Keywords: abandonment, betrayal, family, forgiveness
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