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Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies and Other Supernatural Creatures (The Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library) [Paperback]

Katharine M. Briggs

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Book Description

Mar 1997 The Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library
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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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Briggs' love for her subject shines through the writing. 27 Jan 2003
By Tom Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
I have lost count of the number of times I've sat down with the book since the day I found it. Rarely do I have a goal in mind; instead, I simply open the book to a random page and start reading. Always, I find something interesting waiting for me on whatever page I select; often, I learn something new.
Briggs' scholarship is amazing, her research is exhaustive. Even the most fanatical of folklore enthusiasts would be hard pressed to find a character from British folklore missing from this work. (Briggs wrote in her preface that she originally planned to compile an encyclopedia of global folklore, "but to treat the fairies of the whole of Europe alone, even cursorily, would have been to produce a book ten times the size of this and founded on years of further research."
Certainly, Briggs treated British folklore with a thoroughness rarely seen in a milieu regarded by some as a children's fancy.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and Comprehensive Work 7 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book somewhere years ago and didn't look at it too hard. Every once in a while I'd pick it up and read about "Fairies" or "Hobgoblins" or "Brownies." I looked up "Tam Lin" after I read Pamela Dean's "Tam Lin." But it was only when I read "The Scarlet Letter" in my English class that I took a good look at this book. Some of the descriptions of Pearl--her elfish behavior, her red dress--and some other details reminded me of my Encyclopedia. So I started reading. It was hard going: there is no index. However, it was while browsing through the book that I found the most intriguing little tidbits of fairy lore.
When I informed my mother that I was using it as a major source for my English paper, she was skeptical--until she looked at the information at the front of the book. It's not a frivolous work. That is sometimes a problem--many quotations are in the original dialect or idiom, which can obscure the meaning.
This book is both interesting and useful.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Definitive Work 26 Feb 2004
By Dawn Killen-Courtney - Published on Amazon.com
I was given The Encyclopedia of Faires as a gift at Yuletide in 1977 (that's how long I've been passionately pursuing all manner of writing and information on the Realm of Faery!) It's so long ago that being interested in this subject then was like being "in the closet" about the (real) faeries!! So it is high time I try to express the reverence in which I still hold this book. There are so many guides coming out any more that your library could be filled in no time, yet what would it be filled with? Not anything as authentic as what is between the pages of Brigg's Encyclopedia. Hers is not rehashed information, secondhand lore. There is a sort of "closeness to the source" about her information that lends it an unparalled authenticity.
Of course, she was British, and she was 78 years old in 1977 when the book came out, so she was closer in both place and time to the original information. We who are fascinated with the Realm owe this good woman and most competant folklorist a great debt of gratitude for what she brought forth for us to have in this book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough with out being too much 8 July 2005
By Michael Banks - Published on Amazon.com
This is a truly fun read. Truly encyclopedic. From the dark corners of fairy lore, such as the teind and the Cirein Croin, to the friendly hobs and leprechauns, this book has it all. This is a book to read, re-read, and then have another go at some other time still. Buying this book is money well spent if one has an interest in folklore of the Isles or is interested in some of the more obscure corners of religion.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Encyclopedia of Fairies 2 Jun 2006
By Mallory - Published on Amazon.com
Don't be misled by other books - this one is chock full of excellent supported material and well worth the purchase.
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