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The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries [Hardcover]

Pierre Dubois
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 April 2000
They are known as the Little People, the Beautiful Maidens, the Godmothers, the Blessed, the Ageless Ones...for it is dangerous to say the name "faeries" without good reason. Ruling over earth, air, fire, and water, they protect forests, animals, and children, and in their hands lie the dreamy souls of all creatures.

The faeries rose from the mist long, long ago, in the time of the Golden Age -- well before the creation of gods and men. In their magical fancy they created the singing grasses and the reflection of springs, the music of legends and the far side of the mirror. From the Valkyries of Valhalla to the Babouchka of Russia, Banshees, Dryads, Bogey Beasts, Sirens, and their ilk populate the imaginations and the forests of every culture.

In this comprehensive celebration of the world of faery, renowned French elficologist Pierre Dubois describes the extraordinary richness of the faery kingdom, presenting dozens and dozens of lushly illustrated entries on the most powerful and enchanting denizens of this magical world. Dubois provides readers with authoritative information detailing the customs, habitat, and activities of these Little People. Faery Godmothers, we discover, were originally tall, distinguished, and rather severe; only recently have they taken up the magic wands and cheerful smiles we know them for today. We learn that the favorite foods of the Arthurian faery Viviane are the blackberries that surround Merlin's tomb. And among the customs and activities of the Bogey Beast, the prime goal is indeed to scare little children...if only for their protection.

Dubois's entrancing descriptions are accompanied by Roland and Claudine Sabatier's marvelous illustrations, which depict the appearance of the faeries, the places where they are found, and their familiar objects. Without revealing any faery confidences (which must never be betrayed), Dubois and the Sabatiers have created a comprehensive and utterly enchanting survey of a magical world as old as time.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (26 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684869578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684869575
  • Product Dimensions: 31.3 x 24.8 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 798,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Pavilion Books seems to be specialising in books on the faery world, including the well-known Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Journal, Brian Foud's Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, and Beatrice Phillpotts' The Faeryland Companion.

The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries divides the faery realm into several categories: Maidens of clouds and of time, The faeries of the hearth, The golden queens of the middle world, The faeries of rivers and the sea, The maidens of the green kingdoms, and The ethereal ones of infinite dreams. Within these we find a huge diversity of fair folk from world mythology, from the Norse Valkyries and the Russian Babouchka to Scotland's Mélusine, creatures like the Selkies and Swan Maidens, or Celtic or Arthurian magical figures such as Morgan le Fey and Viviane.

This is a gift book: larger than A4, with colour illustrations by Roland and Claudine Sabatier on every page. It shouldn't be expected to be as comprehensive as, for example, folklorist Katharine Briggs' classic A Dictionary of Fairies. It measures up well, though, to Nancy Arrowsmith's A Field Guide to the Little People, covering as they both do over 70 types of faeries or individual characters. The text, by Pierre Dubois, is considerably more valuable than the pleasant but somewhat stylised artwork; it gives the mythological background, in many cases retelling old folk tales; there are also sidebars on size, appearance, dress, clothes, food, habitat, customs and activities, making this not just an attractive art book but a useful resource. --David V Barrett --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It would be tedious to repeat in detail here the vertiginous maelstrom of the elfin origins of Nordic mythology. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars is full of information,but not for children 12 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This book is fabulous and is more suitable for the adult faery lover as there's slight nudity, so it wouldn't be suitable for children. The pictures are simpler lines, reminiscent of illustrations from vintage children's books, with the black outlines and vibrant colours but don't have as much of the details as some of the faery artists i know of. the stories inside are wonderful and dubois provides information on customs, habitat and activities of these little people. This book would make a great gift for any adult faery lover.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Buy 9 Feb 2005
By A Customer
I got this book for my 11th birthday and it is a wonderful gift. I snuggled up in bed with this and sat there for ages, just reading and reading. Flick over to any page and you will find something you like. Each creature has 2 pages dedicated to them, with tons of illustrations, habitats, appearences, a story from history, facts, poems, sightings and myths. It is packed full of faeries, boggarts, sirens and beasts. Soon, you will learn to adore ever single one of them, and you will never get tired of the secrets hidden inside the beautiful gold covers.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not an encyclopedia at all! 18 Mar 2003
By A Customer
I was really disappointed in this book. Called a great encyclopedia, I expected a comprehensive guide to fairies, but instead only a few catagories are mentioned. I think an encyclopedia should contain a lot more information than this. The biggest disappointment are the pictures which are really childish and not very well drawn in many cases.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice introduction to the subject 29 Mar 2000
By jen - Published on Amazon.com
If I could I would give this book 4 and a half stars. This book is great. It lists the general information dealing with many faeries including costuming, behavior, food , and habitat. Along with the general info is a little background of the story behind the particular faery. Each page is dreamily illustrated in a unique style with brilliant colorization. This book presents information in an organized, encyclopedia format without being boring or monotonous.
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the REAL Fairyland! 11 Jan 2004
By Laurent T. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
This is a MUST for any true lover of the Faerie world. By this I do NOT mean the prissy Victorian idea of Faeries as twee little tinkerbell types. This is the real stuff. The Red and Black ladies, the Selkies and all the other nasty little members of the un-Seelie Court. Here you will find the good with the bad, the beautiful with the ugly. If this was a map, there would be 'Here be Monsters' written on it. (but then it would be too late!) If you ONLY like the Brian Froud stuff (and I do as well) then you will be dissapointed. The line drawings are perfect for this book. They give an edge. The scope is worldwide, although predominetly Eurocentric. The bibliography is enormous and the research extensive. Of course there is nudity. Faeries are nature spirits - they don't NEED clothes.
As to the question of it being a children's book. If you want to mollycoddle your children, then no, but if you want to teach them to be aware that appearances can be deceiving in both the real and faerie world, then go right ahead. They'll thank you for it later (unless of course ther're a changeling!!).
I have just returned from France and was delighted to find the out-of-print companion volume to this - "encyclopedie des Lutins" - basicallly the male-ish side (pixies, brownies, Bogeymen (my favourite). Same style. no punches pulled. The ISBN is 2905292482 (there is also a volume on Elves (available this time at Amazon.fr -its ISBN is 2842301838)
Sadly for those that don't read french, these latter volumes haven't been translated, but for those of you that do read it, enjoy.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A misunderstood book 28 Mar 2003
By "phoderia" - Published on Amazon.com
The Author of this book is french I'd like to note first of all and as far as I know that is what the original language the book was written in. It's very difficult to translate from one language to another as there are always "problem words" that was the only problem I saw with the way the book was written. As for the pictures of the faeries in the book I thought they were very unique and well done. As for the complaints about nudity in the book as i said before the author is french and it is way more acceptable there than here.This book does contain sexual references and gruesome descriptions but one must remember that most "fairy tales" were composed merely to scare children. Even the story of the little mermaid in its original form is a gruesome tale.This book is probably not suitable for children under 12 as some of the words in the book are fairly difficult. I personally would allow my child to read it seeing as the nudity in it is less than one would see in a 6th grade health class.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and lots of fun! 2 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great book, packed full of faery and folklore information. It comes from France, so it's got a lot of good European lore that may be new to readers familiar only with the British faery tradition. The art is whimsical and unusual, and clearly aimed at adults, not children. This one belongs on every faery-lovers shelf beside the folklore texts of Katherine Briggs, the faery art of Brian Froud, and the faery fiction of Terri Windling, Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but not for children 26 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is fabulous. The descriptions are, however, quite dificult to understand, and there are a lot of sexual references, so this is probably best for the adult faery lover. The illustrations are the best part, quite different from any other faery book. They are reminicent of illustrations from vintage children's books, with the black outlines and vibrent colors. Each page is stunning to look at. Even if you don't read the whole thing, it is worth buying just for the gorgeous illustrations.
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