marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote in bookish,

The Fairies in English Tradition and Literature

The Fairies in English Tradition and Literature by Katharine Mary Briggs

An overview.  Assumes your basic knowledge of the facts, like the fluttery flower fairies are not the original conception.  Indeed, she is careful to point out that the tiny fairies are indeed part of the tradition, as one of the oldest recorded accounts, of beings called Portunes, make them an inch high.  Not that that size was commonplace.

Covers all sorts of topics.  Like fairies attached to familes, apparent nature spirits like the Blue Hag that fights with Spring every year and when she loses, throws her staff under a tree so that nothing grows there.  The fairy-ghost connection -- in Cornwall, all fairies are thought to be ghosts.  The nasty and vicious ones.  The giants, usually stupid, occasionally amiable.  The wyrms, which, unlike continental ones, seldom hoard.  Human fairy interactions, hit upon their need for humans, the time factor,l changelings, midwives, and lovers.

Then into the literary versions.  Starting with the 18th century, hit the foreign invasions with Perrault and Grimm, and concluding with The Lord of the Rings, which was indeed the last word in literary elves at the time this was written.
Tags: author: b, genre: non-fiction, review

  • Swansong 1945

    Swansong 1945: A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich by Walter Kempowski An interesting collection of snippets from four different…

  • Dawn of the Broken Sword

    Dawn of the Broken Sword by Kit Sun Cheah Saga of the Swordbreaker book 1, but works on its own. In a future after a catastrophe, Li Ming, having…

  • The Ink Black Heart, by Robert Galbraith

    The sixth Cormoran Strike book, in which bloated is actually better. Mulholland Books, 2022, 1024 pages When frantic, dishevelled Edie…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.