New Dictionary of Fairies, A
A detailed and easy to use resource for Fairylore.
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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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