New Dictionary of Fairies, A
A detailed and easy to use resource for Fairylore.
A detailed and easy to use resource for Fairylore.
A detailed and easy to use resource for Fairylore.
Celtic spirituality, Fairy tales, folk tales, legends & mythology, Paganism & neo-paganism
Fairies are a challenging subject, intertwining culture, folklore, and anecdotal accounts across centuries and millennia. Focusing primarily on the Celtic speaking cultures, with some material from adjacent cultures including Anglo-Saxon and Norse, A New Dictionary of Fairies has in-depth entries on a variety of fairies as well as subjects related to them, such as why we picture elves with pointed ears or where the idea of fairies being invisible comes from. It also tackles more complicated topics like the nature and physicality of the fairy people. Anyone with an interest in the Good Neighbours will find this book a solid resource to draw from.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This was great. This is a good resource for Celtic and Irish mythology and folklore. If one is interested in the subject of faeries, this one is definitely recommended. ~ Cindy Creamer (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Alp Luachra. Bogles. The Dearg Due. Gwragedd Annwn. Merrows. Nicnevin. Robert Kirk. Spriggans. Uraisg. Ylfig. Recognize the names? No? Not surprising. Outside of their regions of origin — primarily Ireland and Scotland, as well as far western Europe — fairy lore tends to stick to a few well-known examples. Or are they well known? How much of what we think we know about fairies is based on original folklore, and how much is based on poor memories, bad translations, and fiction authors running wild? I thought that I was moderately well-versed in fairy lore. The more I read of Daimler’s A New Dictionary of Fairies, the more I realized how little I knew, and that a significant portion of that (incorrect) knowledge was based on Disney films and pop fantasy novels. (To be clear, I have no objection to Disney films or pop fantasy novels. I watch the former regularly and I write the latter myself. The problem is when information is presented as ancient and authentic, and it is not, or when people assume that it is ancient and authentic, and it is not.) Daimler does an excellent job of separating the two categories — original versus new — and presenting examples and source material for the former. For instance, I had never heard of the Alp Luachra; now I want to read or write a horror story centered around one. Similarly, I knew of the name Bridget Cleary, but did not know her whole tragic story. And I had no idea that there were so many versions of the Wild Hunt scattered across a dozen cultures and just as many centuries. The more I read, the more I wanted to pick up a highlighter and start marking the interesting bits. But I would have ended up with a book that was mostly highlights........ ~ Rebecca Buchanan (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A New Dictionary of Fairies is a veritable treasure trove of information and history, ancient and old. With entries on everything from Redcaps to the Puca, there are stories of individual creatures and people as well as explanations of lore such as the use of salt and Christian symbolism connected with the Fae. Although this is a dictionary, don't be put off by the word. This is a compendium of stories, poetry and explanations that will keep you flipping pages later into the night. The breadth of subjects is beautifully diverse, and although the well known Fae are each addressed, there are also entries on lots of lesser known creatures and concepts, which are fascinating to read about. There are references in every entry, with which to build a gargantuan list of further reading. The bibliography at the back is pages long, and filled with well known and fascinating sources. It is very clear from start to finish that this book was compiled by an accomplished academic, who has a true passion for fairylore and mystical mythology. The author's love of the subject shines through her stories and explanations. I would love to have a paper copy of this to reference from time to time, and to read through on blustery autumn evenings. I will certainly be looking out for it at bookstores, and will consider it when I am looking for a gift. ~ Abbey Manning (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.............A New Dictionary of Fairies is exactly what you would expect – an A-Z of all things fairy. It is an easy book to dip in and out of, and feels incredibly thorough. As I was reading it, I found myself making notes about folkloric accounts and poems that I wanted to look up and read in their entirety as my creative juice really started to flow. I have a LOT of books on folklore and fairies, but this is by far the most accessible that I have read so far.... ~ Maria Sinclair (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A thorough and extensive encyclopedia of fairies and their legends, this will be of interest to academics, writers, Pagan practitioners and general interest readers. It was packed full of detail and extremely comprehensive. I could have spent hours absorbed in the different entries. A fascinating and inspiring book. ~ Michelle Wood (Bookseller), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This is a lovely little reference book for anyone who is interested in or who loves fairies and anything mythical. ~ Angela Grove (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. An excellent resource on all things fae and fairy. Bought a hard copy to use as a reference. ~ Amanda Driver (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This book is exactly what it says a dictionary. Anyone interested in the fae or folklore should have this on their shelves as a reference book. It was very well researched and written. I bought a hard copy for my shelves. ~ Jamie Sutch (Educator), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A definite must read for any fans of fairies, folklore etc. It is very well researched and written and a very enjoyable read. ~ Alix Mcmurdo (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. .......... In contrast to her other books this is a reference work and intended as a follow up to folklorist Katherine Briggs’ 1976 work: ‘A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures’. Indeed, in her Introduction, Daimler states that she was inspired to create this new dictionary because Briggs’ Dictionary was not only out of print but that in the last 40 years the field of folklore and faerie lore has moved on. “There have been new ideas advanced and new material covered, and in some cases uncovered, yet there is no work that equals Briggs in its scope and depth on the subject.” Certainly I agree with her that it is time to update Briggs. She also highlights the important point that an increased popularity and inclusion in fiction has led to such lore becoming “divorced from both the root cultures and actual belief to create the twee fairies that populate many current media sources, and yet the genuine belief in fairies and the older folk beliefs still remain, found as they have always been in the lives of people and in stories preserved by folklorists–historic and modern.” Overall, I found this a well researched and very informative resource. I loved the inclusion of poetry and folk ballads. I would have loved illustrations though including these likely would have been prohibitive in terms of cost. However, one of the benefits of the internet is that it is easy to search for images and artwork. I enjoyed reading this very much and discovered material that I hadn’t previously been aware of. I found the main text scholarly yet accessible. I was very impressed by the extensive bibliography included. As this is a reference book, it is perfect to dip into rather than necessarily read from cover to cover. I expect that I will buy my own hard copy in due course to add to my existing collection on folklore and Faerie. ~ Vivienne O'Regan (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I am in love with this book. Morgan has a wonderful style that shows even in a dictionary, making reading enjoyable, entertaining and useful. Normally I would have passed this title aside, but knowing who wrote it, I knew I would find nothing less than perfection and professionalism. ~ Kyler B. Warhol, NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars............Overall, this was a fascinating and evidently well-researched book on the subject of fairies in Western Europe (in particular, Celtic culture). If you are interested in the subject, I’d recommend that you check it out. ~ Eustacia Tan (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I'm a sucker for anything involving mythology, mystical beings, or supernatural stuff and this "dictionary" was amazing! I was familiar with some of the fairies mentioned from reading some Irish/Celtic folklore books but almost 3/4 of this book was completely new to me. Every new entry had me diving down the rabbit hole even farther to learn more. This is one of the best resources on this subject that I've ever come across! ~ April Harvey (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A New Dictionary of Fairies is a very comprehensive book detailing everything you could ever want to know about fairies from A-Z. No matter how much you already know about fairies, you are sure to learn something new. My favourite was the poetry as it wasn't just informational, but inspirational and thought provoking as well. Very interesting! ~ Danielle Jones (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This New Dictionary of Fairies is a great book for those who work with Fairies or are just interested in learning more of them. Fairy witchcraft is something many of my friends practice. I find fairies fascinating for themselves. The information contained in this book is well written, researched and in-depth. This is mostly about the Celtic cultures but does include others as well. I learned many new things about them that I never knew. Love this book. It will be read many times. ~ Marie Angel (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A New Dictionary will not disappoint. A brilliant read full of information for both those that live for everything fairy or those that are just dipping their little toe into this magical and mystical world. Thanks so much to the publisher and netgalley for the arc. ~ Leah Ralph (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Being a fan of this topic, I requested a digital copy of this book via Netgalley. This book is packed FULL of so much wonderfully collected information, I wish I had a print copy for my bookshelves. Additional photos or illustrations would be appreciated. ~ Laura DogsMom-Roth (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This book is chock full of information. I was actually surprised at the number of entries. Many of which I did not know. I had to giggle at the entry for Aliens though. I found the mention of the color of blood to be interesting. The listing of Borrowing is so true. The faeries in my house often “borrow” something but return something else in return. I also learned the name of the knots I have in my hair when I wake up. I am amazed at the amount of research that went into creating this book. The author was very thorough in her references. If you have any interest in fairies, I highly recommend this book. ~ Dawn Thomas (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Having read a number of Morgan Daimler’s books, I was curious to see how she would handle such a wide topic. Whether you are familiar with fairies or taking your first dip into the waters, “A New Dictionary of Fairies” will not disappoint. This book is written in a scholarly fashion yet I found it very accessible to those of us with some or no knowledge of the subject. I have the Kindle version, so the ability to link directly to someone or something specific would be an invaluable tool to anyone researching a particular topic. I began at the beginning and started reading. Initially, I was impressed with the depth of knowledge imparted in each section, and it reminded me of learning from reading an encyclopedia. Using the word “dictionary” in the title is a nod to the book by Katherine Briggs (A Dictionary of Fairies, published 1976), but don’t let that word fool you. Ms. Daimler’s offering feels more like a comprehensive collection of information that will enlighten and entertain readers at the same time. Specific male and female fairies and related beings are introduced, as well as general terms. Many of those terms we still use today have their origins explained, most of them hundreds of years old. There are details of modern belief that are different from how they were originally perceived. As an example, the discussion of elves and the evolution from human-looking to pointed ears is logically presented and dispels what I had previously thought to be how elves always looked throughout time. While searching some of the resources mentioned (also listed at the end in an extensive bibliography), I came across a few other compilations similar to Ms. Daimler’s book. After “peeking” at them using the Amazon feature, my feelings were that this book is much more accessible to readers, particularly those who have little or no knowledge of this subject. Ms. Daimler not only provides the definition of each term, but includes stories and anecdotal tales that are an interesting way to add to what we are learning. For me, reading the book straight through, one term to the next, was not a chore at all, but a fascinating journey through a world I previously had learned very little about. I recommend this book to everyone, both believers of fairies or someone looking to sate a healthy curiosity. Five stars. ~ Dee Arr (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A New Dictionary of Fairies by Morgan Daimler is an excellent reference book. It’s well-researched as well as interesting and engaging, and although it’d be a really good volume to dip into for information about certain aspects of fairy lore, it also makes a very enjoyable and engaging cover-to-cover read..........Although the book is described as a dictionary, it’s far more than a list of definitions. There are descriptions of various types of fairy, of individual fairies who appear in stories, and of the tropes and patterns which typically appear in stories and anecdotes about fairies. In addition, there are discussions of other topics that are fairy related, like speculations about the origins of fairies, or the discussion of the connections between fairy lore and alien lore. I found the latter absolutely fascinating, it being something I’d never thought of before..........This is the kind of book I not only enjoyed reading one time, but would love to keep on my shelf and dip into from time to time. ~ Abbey Jane (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I have been using this as a reference material. The detail and information in one book had been incredible! I wish I would have found this book sooner. I recommend this to anyone writing about fairies, needing fairies within their world-building, and those who are just merely curious about the various types of fairies. ~ M.E. Newsletter (Reviewer), NetGalley
This is one of the most in depth books I have encountered about fairies. A New Dictionary of Fairies covers everything I could think of plus more that I never even knew! I will be referencing this book and coming back to it time and time again. ~ Jacqueline Scifres (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A fascinating and well put together book of lore, myth and legend which proves to be a fantastic reference guide for all things Fae. I would love this book as paper format for my reference library. I cannot wait for it's release:) ~ Emma Smith (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A thoughtful but sensitively written account. The research for this must have been staggering but the quality shines through- you'll never need another book on the subject. I read the original "Dictionary" some years ago, using it often to reference and have carried an interest with me all my life. In this book I found so much new information. Prepare yourself for plenty of rabbit holes, I already have a list of new to me names to explore. Astonishing work, and obviously a labour of love on behalf of the author. ~ C C (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This dictionary of the fair folk is wonderful! There were ones I've never read about. Of course I had to look those up first. I loved reading Katharine Briggs dictionary on quite a few occasions over the years- and thought hers was complete. Now I'll have to revisit hers and compare the two. That should be a very pleasant way to spend many a future afternoon! Kudos Morgan Daimler! ~ Catherine Hankins (Reviewer), NetGalley
This was great. I not only enjoy, but search for this sort of information on faeries and often come up short because there does not tend to be enough. But there was a wonderfully varied amount to go through here, more extensive than I've come across before. If one is interested in the subject of faeries, this one is definitely recommended. ~ Ari C (Reviewer), NetGalley
When I was little, one of my favourite books was ‘A Field Guide to the Little People’ by Nancy Arrowsmith. I loved the twisted tales of selkies and greedy children, gold turned to coal by dawn or miners trapped all for the want of leaving a crust. When I got older, I sought out more in-depth information about the hidden creatures, and found Katharine Briggs’ Dictionary of Fairies. I was in awe that there were so many different types of fairy, yet this new encyclopaedia by Morgan Daimler has taken things to a whole new level. Not only does Morgan describe, in detail, dozens and dozens of different types of fairy, but like a true encyclopaedia, also includes entries pertaining to all things fairy related. Between Biddy Early and Bocan is a segment all about blood, which explores fairy blood, human blood, and the associations therein. Sections on pointed ears and glamour explore aspects commonly associated with fairies, while the entries for origins and physicality give a wealth of information about the existence of fairies and fairy lore. This is a ‘must have’ volume for anyone interested in any of the ‘fair folk’ or ‘little people.’ Meticulously researched and written in an engaging manner, this New Dictionary of Fairies is sure to be a volume I will return to again and again. ~ Mabh Savage, author of Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.
Morgan Daimler’s latest work, A New Dictionary of Fairies: a 21st Century Exploration of Celtic and Related West European Fairies is a bit of departure for her, being her first work in alphabetical dictionary format. Luckily for her readers, she handles the departure with her usual skill and aplomb, producing a brilliant work that will be used widely for generations to come. As I’ve alluded above, Daimler uses a very simple format in this book, listing her entries in alphabetical order. The entries are well designed for comprehensive coverage and ease of access, put into Daimler’s usual accessible, reader-friendly language. They cover a variety of topics, including specific types of fairies, common themes in fairy folklore and literature, particularly noteworthy tales and characters, historical cases and individuals of importance to fairy lore, locations prominent within the lore, and more miscellaneous topics like popular culture. She mostly focuses on Ireland and the other Celtic countries, but is able to devote some attention to England, Scandinavia, France, and other countries. Good cross referencing enables readers to find topics through routes other than the alphabetic list. The entries are well footnoted, and written with clear, engaging language. They vary in length from short but informative paragraphs to longer essays. To me, one of the most welcome kinds of essay are those on particular fairy ballads that include the full text of the ballad in question. Those essays are an invaluable resource, particularly in a reference work that presents them all. The dictionary includes a fine preface by internationally famous Irish author Lora O’Brien and an introduction by the author herself, which represent a solid beginning to the book. There is an excellent, comprehensive bibliography, exceedingly useful for those seeking further research. In sum, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Indeed, I would call it a worthy successor to the work of the late, great Katherine Briggs, the most highly regarded expert on fairies in the last half of the 20th century. ~ Segomaros Widugeni, author of Ancient Fire: an introduction to Gaulish Polytheism
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Indeed, I would call it a worthy successor to the work of the late, great Katherine Briggs, the most highly regarded expert on fairies in the last half of the 20th century. ~ Segomaros Widugeni, author of Ancient Fire: An Introduction to Gaulish Polytheism
This is a truly impressive work. Daimler moves seamlessly between Celtic and Germanic experiences of Fairy, and provides the reader with a well-sourced guide for anyone curious about all the different aspects of Fairylore. From the earliest Irish texts to modern encounters, Daimler takes in the full scope of the subject, and presents the reader with one of the best-researched volumes on the subject. Everyone curious about the Other Crowd needs this on their shelf. ~ Mary Jones, The Celtic Literature Collective
A comprehensive and delightful guide of essential information for those interested in fairy lore. Daimler has created a long-needed resource for those interested in fairy lore. She’s compiled a comprehensive list of subjects related to fairies, from alien abductions to Shakespeare, from Goethe to Dungeons and Dragons. She touches upon origin stories, Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon correlations, and the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Her writing style is accessible and her scholarship impeccable. As an author who delves into the worlds Daimler recounts, I find it incredibly useful in my own research. I highly recommend this essential guide for those who wish to delve more deeply into the lore, the background, and the various traditions surrounding the Gentry. ~ Christy Nicholas, author of the Druid's Brooch series
This is a ‘must have’ volume for anyone interested in any of the ‘fair folk’ or ‘little people.’ Meticulously researched and written in an engaging manner, this New Dictionary of Fairies is sure to be a volume I will return to again and again. ~ Mabh Savage, author of Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.
A New Dictionary of Fairies is comprehensive and firmly rooted in scholarship with a genuine understanding of the Good People and their lore. With entries concerning Celtic and Western European fairies it is an essential reference book and establishes Daimler as the modern successor to the folklorist Katherine Briggs. ~ Jane Brideson, artist & blogger at The Ever-Living Ones
A New Dictionary of Fairies by Morgan Daimler is a treasure trove of rare information: brimming with scholarship and exquisite detail. It quickly dispels all childish and romantic notions about Fairies. It is time that we educate ourselves about Fairies if we are to be in right relationship with our world and other worlds. Daimler now provides us with the user manual and sage advice. This is a book to read and re-read. I will put it on the reading list for my students! ~ Imelda Almqvist, international teacher of Sacred Art and Northern Tradition Shamanism, author of Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit for Life
Morgan Daimler has created the most thoroughly-researched, in-depth book about the Other Crowd that I have ever had the privilege to read. This is the sort of book you recommend to everyone, but don't loan to anyone because you know you won't get it back. ~ KS Thompson, Sidhe Writes