Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Blue Poetry Book

Andrew Lang - The Blue Poetry Book (1891)

Open Library direct link
Open Library main page

Just two years earlier Andrew Lang released The Blue Fairy Book, the first in a series of twelve collections that are still why he's remembered today.  This one was clearly intended to gain attention by association though it's in a pretty well-defined genre of poetry anthologies for children.  Of course this being the late 19th century it's not quite like anything that would be put out today - the introduction quotes Theocritus, worries that the book might be "too Scottish" and says we shouldn't "write down to children" (the latter often said nowadays and invariably not followed).  And how many such anthologies today would include Cowper, Jonson, Dryden, Milton, Nashe and Scott, oh so much Scott.  (Lang edited a collected edition of Scott shortly afterwards.)  It's heavily illustrated of course.