The Fairies in Tradition and Literature

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Psychology Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 324 pages
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Fairies fascinate young and old alike. To some they offer tantalizing glimpses of other worlds, to others a subversive counterpoint to human arrogance and weakness. Like no other author, Katharine Briggs throughout her work communicated the thrill and delight of the world of fairies, and in this book she articulated for the first time the history of that world in tradition and literature.

From every period and every country, poets and storytellers have described a magical world inhabited by elfin spirits. Capricious and vengeful, or beautiful and generous, they've held us in thrall for generations. And on a summer's morn, as the dew dries softly on the grass, if you kneel and look under a toadstool, well ...

 

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Contents

The Fairy Realms
14
Tutelary Spirits
30
Forgotten Gods and Nature Spirits
48
The Host of the Dead
58
Hobgoblins and Imps
66
Giants Hags and Monsters
74
Fairy Beasts
84
Fairy Plants
98
Fairy Encounters and Odd Experiences
155
Human Opinions
168
Some Literary Fairies
181
The Eighteenth Century
183
The Nineteenth Century and After
204
2O The Foreign Invasion
219
The Moralists
227
Folklorists and Collectors
236

T Regional Differences
105
Traffic with the Fairies
111
The Fairy Dependence
113
Time and Seasons
123
The Double Strain
127
Changelings and Midwives
136
Fairy Wives and Fairy Lovers
146
The Humorists
241
Whimsy
248
Something to Bite On
255
APPEND Ices
267
A List of Books CITED AND Consu LTED 3ol NDEx
311
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About the author (2002)

Katharine Briggs (1898-1980). Eminent folklorist and former president of the Folklore Society.

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