Andrew Lang (1844 - 1912)
Andrew Lang was born in Selkirk, Scotland on March 31st, 1844. He was educated at Selkirk Grammar School, Edinburgh Academy, both St. Andrews and Glasgow Universities, and Balliol College, Oxford. He graduated from Balliol in 1868 and became a Fellow of Merton College until 1874. Lang's first publication was The Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (1872). Other volumes of verse include Ballades in Blue China (1880), Ballads and Verses Vain(1884), Rhymes à la Mode (1884), Grass of Parnassus(1888), Ban and Arrière Ban (1894), and New Collected Rhymes (1905).
The windy lights of Autumn flare;
Lang went to London in 1875 and there married Leonora Blanche Alleyne. The two translated and adapted traditional stories specifically for children, including the Blue Fairy Book (1889). For his prose translation of The Odyssey, Lang, a Homeric scholar, collaborated with S. H. Butcher in 1879, then with E. Myers and Walter Leaf for The Iliad in 1883. Homer and the Epic appeared in 1893 and Homer and his Age in 1906.
Pursuing his interest in Scottish history, Lang wrote The Portraits and Jewels of Mary Stuart (1906) and James VI and the Gowrie Mystery (1902). In 1900 Lang began a History of Scotland from the Roman Occupation. He also edited The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (1896). Best known as the collector of folk and fairy tales, Lang also wrote about religion and mythology, including Custom and Myth (1884), Myth, Literature and Religion (1887), The Making of Religion, and Social Origins (1903)
He was one of the founders of the study of "Psychical Research" (scientific investigation of extraordinary or unexplained). His writings on the subject include The Book of Dreams and Ghosts (1897), Magic and Religion (1901), and The Secret of the Totem (1905).
Lang died in Aberdeen on July 20th, 1912.
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