"The Other Crowd," "The Good People," "The Wee Folk," and "Them" are a few of the names given to the fairies by the people of Ireland. Honored for their gifts and feared for their wrath, the fairies remind us to respect the world we live in and the forces we cannot see.

In these tales of fairy forts, fairy trees, ancient histories, and modern true-life encounters with The Other Crowd, Eddie Lenihan opens ...
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Meeting the Other Crowd

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"The Other Crowd," "The Good People," "The Wee Folk," and "Them" are a few of the names given to the fairies by the people of Ireland. Honored for their gifts and feared for their wrath, the fairies remind us to respect the world we live in and the forces we cannot see.

In these tales of fairy forts, fairy trees, ancient histories, and modern true-life encounters with The Other Crowd, Eddie Lenihan opens our eyes to this invisible world with the passion and bluntness of a seanchai, a true Irish storyteller.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
During folklore's first and greatest period, the end of the nineteenthcentury, gifted writers like Lady Gregory and William Butler Yeats wandered into the Irish countryside, gathering the oral vestiges of a great tradition. Publishing their gleanings later, sometimes altered in transcription, they garnered an audience eager for the tales of heroes, fairies, and gods. Such compilations as theirs remain major sources of Irish mythology. One of the best-known seanachies, or traditional tale-spinners, in Ireland today, Lenihan is an Irish-speaking schoolmaster in the very area where Gregory and Yeats gathered their tales. He discloses that, despite the arrival of fax, Internet, and cel phone, the old tales persist. His fresh collection includes some famous motifs, such as the "fairy blast" that steals away people and things, but also such regionally specific figures as Biddy Early, the White Witch of Clare-a historical figure around whom myths have accrued. Lenihan focuses on the "other crowd" of the title: the fairy people, who are the diminished remnants of old gods, still able to affect the world of humankind. This is not quaint fluff but the powerful, sometimes disturbing lore of a world parallel to and occasionally intersecting ours. A major contribution to its field, the book is also compulsively readable, not least because Green, an audio producer, has helped capture the torque of Irish speech in Lenihan's storytelling. —Booklist
Library Journal
This is a comprehensive anthology of oral tales collected by master storyteller, folklorist, and author Lenihan (Defiant Irish Women) while on a 27-year mission to preserve the rich storytelling tradition of southwest Ireland. The 100-plus stories feature the seanchai, the traditional teacher and tale spinner of Irish folklore, and can be divided into three major categories: fairy places and signs of their presence, who fairies are and what they want, and the gifts, punishments, and other outcomes of fairy encounters. Like fairy tales generally, these stories are seldom benign, featuring fairy bedevilment, banshees, mystery winds, and forts. Lenihan's fairies are not gossamer, angelic creatures wielding magic wands and bestowing rewards but instead "the other crowd," who inhabit a mysterious land full of dangers, supernatural evils, forbidding enchantments, and broken taboos. This wide-ranging collection will be especially important to collections focusing on storytelling or Irish folklore.-Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Short tales, collected for an oral history project, relate Ireland’s traditional folklore of the fairies. For most, the fairies of Ireland are about as real as the little man on the Lucky Charms box. Our loss, for Lenihan not only believes the Wee Folk exist but that they wield tremendous power for good or ill over anyone foolish enough to trifle with them. A renowned folklorist and storyteller, Lenihan has spent 27 years collecting the lore here. Most of the tales are quite simple, if occasionally hair-raising. "The Vicious Fairies" is a sort of fairy Genesis explaining the malevolence of the fairies as a consequence of their envy and anger upon learning (from a village priest) that only humans will be saved. Similarly, in "The Fallen Angels," the fairies are presented as descendents of the fallen angels, who seek out priests to kill in revenge for their damnation. "The Bush That Bled" describes a fairy bush that indeed bled when a work crew tried to cut it down in the 1950s, while "The Fairy House" portrays the mayhem resulting when a man builds a wall astride the path between two fairy bushes (he later cuts a door in the wall for the convenience of the fairies and his own peace of mind). While many of the stories are so short as to be little more than sketches, some are rich and absorbing narratives told in a kind of homespun voice increasingly rare nowadays. The best of these is the last, "The Shanaglish Weaver," the unhappy story of a weaver who did not believe in fairies and planted a garden in a fairy fort—only to suffer the most gruesome consequences. Thorough, nicely arranged, with a minimum of editorial intrusions (footnotes, annotations, etc.) and free of the New Age cantthat has infected so many contemporary accounts of traditional folklore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101167335
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/2/2004
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 866,808
  • File size: 553 KB

Meet the Author

Storyteller, teacher, folklorist, and author of numerous books and recordings, Eddie Lenihan has been collecting stories from the elders of Southern Ireland for twenty-seven years and sharing them with audiences around the world through radio, television, and live presentation. Lenihan lives in County Clare, Ireland.
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