The Fairies in Tradition and Literature

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Required reading for anyone seeking to take a first step into the wondrous realm of fairy tales.' - Jack Zipes
Richard Adams
Katharine Briggs is the magic mirror on the wall.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415286015
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/20/2002
  • Series: Routledge Classics Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
Pt. I The Fairy Peoples
1 Historic Survey 3
2 The Fairy Realms 14
3 Tutelary Spirits 30
4 Forgotten Gods and Nature Spirits 48
5 The Host of the Dead 58
6 Hobgoblins and Imps 66
7 Giants, Hags and Monsters 74
8 Fairy Beasts 84
9 Fairy Plants 98
10 Regional Differences 105
Pt. II Traffic with the Fairies
11 The Fairy Dependence 113
12 Time and Seasons 123
13 Fairy Morality: The Double Strain 127
14 Changelings and Midwives 136
15 Fairy Wives and Fairy Lovers 146
16 Fairy Encounters and Odd Experiences 155
17 Human Opinions 168
Pt. III Some Literary Fairies
18 The Poets: The Eighteenth Century 183
19 The Poets: The Nineteenth Century and After 204
20 The Foreign Invasion 219
21 The Moralists 227
22 Folklorists and Collectors 236
23 The Humorists 241
24 Whimsy 248
25 Something to Bite On 255
Appendices 267
A List of Books Cited and Consulted 301
Index 311
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