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Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, & Other Supernatural Creatures

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A "Who's Who" of fairyland, with entries by fairy name and additional legends, songs, and anecdotes within each entry. A "Who's Who" of fairyland, with entries by fairy name and additional legends, songs, and anecdotes within each entry.


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A "Who's Who" of fairyland, with entries by fairy name and additional legends, songs, and anecdotes within each entry. A "Who's Who" of fairyland, with entries by fairy name and additional legends, songs, and anecdotes within each entry.

30 review for Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, & Other Supernatural Creatures

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    This is a wonderful book and if you have any use for a reference book on fairies, folklore etc. then again...wonderful. If you write (as a lot of us here do) this is a treasure trove of information. If I could I'd buy a copy. Unfortunately it's out of print and the least expensive copy I've been able to find is $100 (plus shipping and handling of course). I'll just have to keep my eyes open. An interesting side note. In the edition I got out the library the illustration pages in the center of the This is a wonderful book and if you have any use for a reference book on fairies, folklore etc. then again...wonderful. If you write (as a lot of us here do) this is a treasure trove of information. If I could I'd buy a copy. Unfortunately it's out of print and the least expensive copy I've been able to find is $100 (plus shipping and handling of course). I'll just have to keep my eyes open. An interesting side note. In the edition I got out the library the illustration pages in the center of the book were inserted upside-down.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Stiefvater

    THE definitive place to start on British fairy folklore. Is there anything else to say? I think not. An amazing read. ***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.**** THE definitive place to start on British fairy folklore. Is there anything else to say? I think not. An amazing read. ***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.****

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    An exhaustive treatment of the -- ehem -- Good Folk of the British Isles. A lot of redundancies because all sorts of creatures reappeared, slightly different, under different names, sometimes in very limited locales, or even the proper name of a single being. (Sometimes very slightly different names -- not necessarily related to how similar they are in other respects.) Covers a lot of folklore about the devils and death, as well, because of the strong connection between them and the fairies. (Graf An exhaustive treatment of the -- ehem -- Good Folk of the British Isles. A lot of redundancies because all sorts of creatures reappeared, slightly different, under different names, sometimes in very limited locales, or even the proper name of a single being. (Sometimes very slightly different names -- not necessarily related to how similar they are in other respects.) Covers a lot of folklore about the devils and death, as well, because of the strong connection between them and the fairies. (Grafted trees were connected with fairies because they were called "ymp trees.") Includes a lot of legends and some pure fairy tales, and some entries on fairy themes, such as thefts and protection.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A wonderful compendium of the folkloric inhabitants of the British Isles. In addition to entries about the Little People, there are also entries on certain folkloric motifs, such as Shapeshifting and Captives in Fairyland, and on prominent collectors of tales and writers upon the subject. As well as the usual index and bibliography, the book also has an Index of Types and Motifs, by which folklore tales have been categorised, thus making it easy to compare similarities between stories which someti A wonderful compendium of the folkloric inhabitants of the British Isles. In addition to entries about the Little People, there are also entries on certain folkloric motifs, such as Shapeshifting and Captives in Fairyland, and on prominent collectors of tales and writers upon the subject. As well as the usual index and bibliography, the book also has an Index of Types and Motifs, by which folklore tales have been categorised, thus making it easy to compare similarities between stories which sometimes span the length of the land. This is also facilitated by the entries being cross-referenced within the text (rather like a hyper-text webpage). Although not a book that I would read from cover-to-cover, it's fun to dip into: often, having gone to look up a particular entry, I find that I've lost half an hour or so flitting from one topic to another. There are also line illustrations throughout, and a set of monochrome plates showing classic depictions of fairies, elves, goblins, et al. In summary, an excellent and engaging reference work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eric Orchard

    The best source for fairies and strange creatures in literature and popular stories. Incredibly readable and bottomless inspiration.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This is the only reference book I ever read cover to cover. I'm just saying: THIS IS THE ONLY REFERENCE BOOK I'VE READ COVER TO COVER!!! This is the only reference book I ever read cover to cover. I'm just saying: THIS IS THE ONLY REFERENCE BOOK I'VE READ COVER TO COVER!!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pippa DaCosta

    I bought this as a 'one-click' second hand purchase, with no notion I was buying something with a soul. The pages are yellowed, and well-thumbed, and I noticed this edition was printed in the same year I was born. That evocative smell of 'old books' hits me when I flick from front to back. How many hands have held this book? How many stories were born from its pages? This book has its own story to tell, and it's not inside, but in the tangible, the weight, the smell. Like its contents, this book I bought this as a 'one-click' second hand purchase, with no notion I was buying something with a soul. The pages are yellowed, and well-thumbed, and I noticed this edition was printed in the same year I was born. That evocative smell of 'old books' hits me when I flick from front to back. How many hands have held this book? How many stories were born from its pages? This book has its own story to tell, and it's not inside, but in the tangible, the weight, the smell. Like its contents, this book is magical. I can see 'A Dictionary of Fairies' becoming my companion, and I wonder how many other authors my copy has guided along the way...?

  8. 5 out of 5

    James Kelly

    If you have ever wanted to know anything about fairy folklore, this is the book to read. Briggs leaves no stone unturned, categorising even the most minor fairy, as well as tackling large concepts, other related folklore and literature too. The encyclopedic nature means you can return to it again and again, but if you have any interest in fairies at all I'd be willing to bet you'll read it cover to cover. I did! This book has been absolutely indispensable and one of my best purchases. If you have ever wanted to know anything about fairy folklore, this is the book to read. Briggs leaves no stone unturned, categorising even the most minor fairy, as well as tackling large concepts, other related folklore and literature too. The encyclopedic nature means you can return to it again and again, but if you have any interest in fairies at all I'd be willing to bet you'll read it cover to cover. I did! This book has been absolutely indispensable and one of my best purchases.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    Folklore expert Briggs converts her research into a handy guide to British fae: spriggans, daione sidhe, kelpies, knockers, nuckelavee and others, all recorded here. This also covers themes (fairy thefts, virtues valued by fairies), a number of classic folk tales and profiles several prominent folklorists. If this is your sort of thing, you can't go wrong with this one. Folklore expert Briggs converts her research into a handy guide to British fae: spriggans, daione sidhe, kelpies, knockers, nuckelavee and others, all recorded here. This also covers themes (fairy thefts, virtues valued by fairies), a number of classic folk tales and profiles several prominent folklorists. If this is your sort of thing, you can't go wrong with this one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Bobbitt

    This is neat, but I don't have much use for keeping it. This is neat, but I don't have much use for keeping it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The best source for all your otherworldly questions.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Comprehensive and well written, but somewhat oddly organized.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Searska GreyRaven

    Really good reference for the fey.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laurell Library

    This book is super helpful when writing stories about the fae and other creatures. I love this book so much!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Suzieey

    This was a very excellent thorough book on fairy folklore. I read a few chapters at a time in between novels. It is definitely a great resource for someone wanting to learn more about fairy mythology

  16. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    great resource

  17. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Loureiro

    Great companion for anyone interested in the fae. I just wish it had hardcover.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Juli Anna

    This book was a great favorite of mine as a child. The public library had one copy on reserve and I spent hours poring over it when I was there, memorizing the names of the Tuatha de Danann, reading the stories of True Thomas and Tam Lin, studying which virtues were rewarded my fairies and which vices punished. Even through my adult life, this book has enjoyed a sort of clout in my imagination that few do, and so I decided to revisit it. Briggs offers a detailed look at fairy beliefs, stories an This book was a great favorite of mine as a child. The public library had one copy on reserve and I spent hours poring over it when I was there, memorizing the names of the Tuatha de Danann, reading the stories of True Thomas and Tam Lin, studying which virtues were rewarded my fairies and which vices punished. Even through my adult life, this book has enjoyed a sort of clout in my imagination that few do, and so I decided to revisit it. Briggs offers a detailed look at fairy beliefs, stories and customs from the British Isles. I was surprised that the focus was so insular, because nowhere on the cover or in the description is this mentioned; I felt this was a little misleading or even Eurocentric, as though all “hobgoblins, brownies, bogies, and other supernatural creatures” are the product of a Celtic imagination. However, for its scope, this book cannot be beaten. Briggs is an excellent folklorist and gathers together in this book not only elves, banshees, and grims, but also Perrault, Herrick, Yeats, and dozens of other writers and folklorists whose work she draws from. My complaints are: the aforementioned lack of geographical descriptor in the title; oddly vague pronunciation guides for various Gaelic words. But this book is universally cited by lovers of folklore for good reason, and my imagination was once again captured as I sifted through its pages.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

    Probably not a great idea to read straight through, given that it is an encyclopedia, and doing so took me forever and lead to a lot of dull passages, but it seems like a pretty good reference work, particularly since it covers folk fairy beliefs, tales and their tellers and collectors, rather than focusing on only one aspect of (mostly British) fairy tradition. It's out of print now though, so apparently its publisher and/or the book market doesn't think quite so highly of it. Probably not a great idea to read straight through, given that it is an encyclopedia, and doing so took me forever and lead to a lot of dull passages, but it seems like a pretty good reference work, particularly since it covers folk fairy beliefs, tales and their tellers and collectors, rather than focusing on only one aspect of (mostly British) fairy tradition. It's out of print now though, so apparently its publisher and/or the book market doesn't think quite so highly of it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Kruse

    Like Keightley's Fairy mythology, I bought this paperback in the early 1980s and now, sadly, the spine's giving way and all the pages are starting to tumble out. Katharine Briggs is an expert in the field and the book is clear and comprehensive. As an author of fairy fiction myself, and a blogger at britishfairies.wordpress.com, Briggs is an invaluable source of authentic, traditional information and of inspiration. Like Keightley's Fairy mythology, I bought this paperback in the early 1980s and now, sadly, the spine's giving way and all the pages are starting to tumble out. Katharine Briggs is an expert in the field and the book is clear and comprehensive. As an author of fairy fiction myself, and a blogger at britishfairies.wordpress.com, Briggs is an invaluable source of authentic, traditional information and of inspiration.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Sherman

    Folklore expert Briggs converts her research into a handy guide to British fae: spriggans, daione sidhe, kelpies, knockers, nuckelavee and others, all recorded here. This also covers themes (fairy thefts, virtues valued by fairies), a number of classic folk tales and profiles several prominent folklorists. If this is your sort of thing, you can't go wrong with this one. Folklore expert Briggs converts her research into a handy guide to British fae: spriggans, daione sidhe, kelpies, knockers, nuckelavee and others, all recorded here. This also covers themes (fairy thefts, virtues valued by fairies), a number of classic folk tales and profiles several prominent folklorists. If this is your sort of thing, you can't go wrong with this one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    It is good, but it focuses almost exclusively on the fairies of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. So while I love how in depth it is, the deepness of the research is focused on a relatively narrow subsection of folklore. A great resource, but only when you use it in a way that plays to the strengths of the book

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I read this book as a kid and have kept a copy for reference ever since. It's invaluable for anyone interested in folklore, covering a vast range of entities from gentle to malevolent, from beneficial to deadly. I read this book as a kid and have kept a copy for reference ever since. It's invaluable for anyone interested in folklore, covering a vast range of entities from gentle to malevolent, from beneficial to deadly.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Norton

    I've had this book since high school....it's my "go to" reference on all the words for "magical" beings, especially those residing on the British Isles. Fantastic folklore, and the histories of the beliefs. I have always love this book! I've had this book since high school....it's my "go to" reference on all the words for "magical" beings, especially those residing on the British Isles. Fantastic folklore, and the histories of the beliefs. I have always love this book!

  25. 4 out of 5

    John Shelley

    This is the most complete reference work on British fairy lore, from a giant of 20th Century folklore research. Essential reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    It's easy to get lost in this book. I use it regularly for inspiration for my fairy tale maps. It's easy to get lost in this book. I use it regularly for inspiration for my fairy tale maps.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kalayna Price

    The encyclopedic structure offers only tidbits for each folklore creature and custom listed, but it is a great starting point and the bibliography is invaluable.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jewels

    Briggs provides anecdotes as well as descriptions of the immense variety of fairies and other mythological characters. Good reference book if you write fantasy or play RPGs.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline Czel

    Excellent reference book for fantasy writers!

  30. 4 out of 5

    S.

    As i believed, a must have in your collection if you can get it

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