This wonderful collection of fairy stories, put together by Andrew Lang at the end of the 19th century, gathers many of the best loved tales of childhood - 'Old stories', Lang calls them in his preface, 'that have pleased so many generations'. They include the best of the English tradition, favourites from Grimm, Perrault, The Arabian Nights and Gulliver's Travels, as well as lesser-known tales and new re-tellings, such as Lang's own 'The Terrible Head' based on the Greek myth of Perseus and the Gorgon. Reared on border ballads told by his old nurse, Lang was reading by the age of four and devoured 'every fairy tale I could lay my hands on'. He was enthralled by trolls and witches, and stories of changelings and devilish hunts. Later the tales of Shakespeare, Homer and Dickens were to fire his imagination.