A complete guide to fairy lore from the Middle Ages to the present. Both an anthology of fairy tales and a reference work with essays about the fairy economy, food, sports, powers and more.
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Perhaps she should have called it "Everything You Wanted to Know about Fairies, but Were Afraid to Ask." This book covers every type of "little people" from abbey lubbers to Young Tam Lin. Not just the tiny, translucent winged pixies of popular art, but brownies, goblins and bogies, even larger creatures like dragons and mermaids. Exhaustive in its coverage, while still entertaining.From the Back Cover:
"If myths are both the food and fruit of the imagination, then Katharine Briggs has prepared a banquet.... There seems to be no end to the information in this enchanted almanac."
-- New York Times Book Review
"Oberon would have revelled in this convocation of his subjects."
-- Peter Opie
"An Encyclopedia offers a supernatural host of legends, ballads, folk tales -- and more than enough hobgoblins and dragons to fill minds little or large. The entries are informative and scholarly without being stuffy. A good thing, too. Fairies like to play tricks on the serious." -- Time Magazine
"What Briggs has done is to recover fairies from the nursery (and to a degree from formal literature and painting as well) and restore to them their diversity, complexity, and astonishingly subtle relationship with mortal men and women.... These stories are designed to awaken consciousness." -- Peter S. Prescott
"An Encyclopedia of Fairies is a work that is at once beguiling and trustworthy .... A valuable reference book and a most readable one." -- Richard M. Dorson
"Dr. Briggs brings to her subject both a formidable background in folk scholarship and a lively pen. This absorbing, sensitive, and well-written book will be a valuable single-volume reference work in the study of folklore, mythology, and literature. Even for the general reader-browser, it is a treasure as sprightly and appealing as the fairies themselves." -- Southern Folklore Quarterly
"Katharine Briggs is the magic mirror on the wall. Ask her what you will, but have a care of this wonderful book. Dip into it for two minutes and you'll be gone for an hour. No hour could be better spent." -- Richard Adams
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