Welsh Folk-Lore: A Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales
Library of Alexandria, 1976
The Fairy tales that abound in the Principality have much in common with like legends in other countries. This points to a common origin of all such tales. There is a real and unreal, a mythical and a material aspect to Fairy Folk-Lore. The prevalence, the obscurity, and the different versions of the same Fairy tale show that their origin dates from remote antiquity. The supernatural and the natural are strangely blended together in these legends, and this also points to their great age, and intimates that these wild and imaginative Fairy narratives had some historical foundation. If carefully sifted, these legends will yield a fruitful harvest of ancient thoughts and facts connected with the history of a people, which, as a race, is, perhaps, now extinct, but which has, to a certain extent, been merged into a stronger and more robust race, by whom they were conquered, and dispossessed of much of their land. The conquerors of the Fair Tribe have transmitted to us tales of their timid, unwarlike, but truthful predecessors of the soil, and these tales shew that for a time both races were co-inhabitants of the land, and to a certain extent, by stealth, intermarried.
Fairy tales, much alike in character, are to be heard in many countries, peopled by branches of the Aryan race, and consequently these stories in outline, were most probably in existence before the separation of the families belonging to that race. It is not improbable that the emigrants would carry with them, into all countries whithersoever they went, their ancestral legends, and they would find no difficulty in supplying these interesting stories with a home in their new country. If this supposition be correct, we must look for the origin of Fairy Mythology in the cradle of the Aryan people, and not in any part of the world inhabited by descendants of that great race.