Discussion in 'Fortean News Stories' started by RaM, Aug 8, 2017.
Not just on fairies but I love this book...
His 2002 book is great too - 'The Philosophers' Secret Fire: a history of the imagination.'
Great recs. Thanks, folks.
My favorite book on this subject is:
It's filled with anecdotes from history, personal accounts, folklore, nursery rhymes, etc. The book gives a quote from another book, Popular Rhymes of Scotland by Robert Chambers (1870):
Or, put into plain English ...
According to the book, "the seelie wichts" were not fond of the words "elf" or "fairy".
As well, in folklore, they were extremely dangerous because they were easy to offend, tended to stay offended a very long time (in some cases, generations), and seemed to enjoy causing mischief.
Originally, they were a kind of nature spirit, but during the Middle Ages, were thought to be, variously, fallen angels or the ghosts of unbaptized infants.
In one account I liked, a young brother and sister were playing outside on a Sunday (pagans!), when they saw a troop of small people. When asked who they were, they only replied "Not of the race of Adam!"
On the topic of public works, development and folklore, in Japan, people will go out of their way to re-route roads and build around sacred rocks, sacred trees, and other spiritually important places.
A reference to one of CS Lewis' phrases in the chronicles of Narnia perhaps? IMO all the best fantasy fiction has a diminutive sentient species or two. Hard to find a popular series without one.
I would have to look it up, but I'm certain the account is from long before CS Lewis was born. All the sources in the book are quite old.
Found it at different source:
Not as old as I thought, but written before The Chronicles of Narnia, though Lewis might have been inspired by it.
Even the word "hobbit" goes back to The Denham Tracts of 1859.
Thanks a lot. Especially the linked PDF. Filed for later reading. The bibliography ought to provide more of interest as well.
From memory, Lewis used sons of Adam, daughters of Eve. The dwarves of Prince Caspian were not fairies in any sense, but perhaps the dufflepuds of Voyage of the Dawn Treader referenced the grotesques of fairy lore.
Wow! Talk about response. Thank You All. Kinda late in the day to do any good except to satisfy my own curiosity. I guess I really wasn't that far off base after all. Did seem each group of students had a different idea of faeries. In my brief research into the subject I did discover that fairies were not tiny nor did they have wings until the Victorians started writing and painting them. The Tuatha De Danan were mentioned as the original inhabitants of the British Isles but were supposedly survivors of Atlantis. Were described as slim, small, with red or blonde hair and blue or green eyes. Not so small that they couldn't intermarry larger Celtics or other invaders of the country. Supposedly they had a great knowledge of the uses of herbal medicine which got them classified as magical by later inhabitants. Yet what you describe was also mentioned (fallen angels). But, heh, heh, I still wouldn't know how to draw them to everyones satisfaction. Tinkerbell is cute but definitely not the standard for a (real) fairy. Funny how time can change things so radically. Thanks again.
Hi, Brig: I'd forgotten to add that they were once thought to be the original inhabitants of the British Isles. I think that's the most interesting theory, actually, because I feel there could be a grain of truth in there.
The IOM as the Fiery bridge and you are supposed to say good morning or whenever to
the Fairies when you pass over it though it seems to be taken more seriously by the TT
racers than anyone else, then they need all the help they can get, but the now fairy bridge
is not the original one the so called real Fairy bridge is still standing but no longer carries
Baleeber the grain of truth may very well be there. Actually the De Danans could have been both the first inhabitants of the British isles and survivors of Atlantis. We are dealing with histories here that go so Far back that they are lost in the mists of time. The Scots were supposedly named for Scotta, a princess of Egypt that settled the area in the beginning of British prehistory. And Egypt was thought to be a colony of Atlantis according to some theories. We're getting into some murky waters here.
Separate names with a comma.