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Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia [Paperback]

Carol Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 13.26
Price: 13.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia + Giants, Monsters & Dragons - an Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend & Myth
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Product details

  • Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393317927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393317923
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 19.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 355,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins Fabulously entertaining, and featuring more than 100 delightful illustrations, this encyclopedic work contains over 2,000 alphabetically arranged entries covering angels, demons, elves, fairies, nats, nymphs, and other strange beings from around the world. Full description

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First Sentence
This is the name of an evil spirit or devil in the folklore of the Basque people of southwestern France and northwestern Spain. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why not reprinted? Why not a BESTSELLER? 24 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
I have a number of books on folklore, mythical creatures and spirits and fairies. Hey, I like them. This is the best. This covers everywhere and everyone. It includes everything. As any good encyclopedia should, it runs A-Z. It prompts further reading. It links listings to others in the 'pedia and can prompt further research. It is at the back of the book that the information comes into its own.
It is all very well knowing the name of an entry, but what if you do not? What if you want a spirit to go with water, or a spring, or fate etc? Go to the back, they are all listed. But not just that. Want spirits associated with the creative arts? Corn and grain? Disease? They are all listed. Then look them up in the main 'pedia.
There is also none of the "maybe" and "could be" that you get with other publications. Carol Rose simply says how it is, or not. She states what is known, or not.
There are lists of Angels, Demons, tree spirits, and a list by Country of origin. Need an obscure Belgian fairy? You'll find it here.
There are some books that should be reprinted and massive sellers. This is one. Get it. It can be hard to find, but if you can just buy it.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 10 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is incredible. It not only contains thousands of entries, encyclopedia-style, but it cross-references them geographically and by type of creature. I've learned tons. I read this book not only for fun, but as a resource in my work as a writer of fantasy. I have other books like it, but this one is essential.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous reference 27 Dec 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is superb. It is comprehensive, authoritative, and an invaluable reference guide for writers and other researchers. I was hesitant when I saw the listed reading level as age 4-8. That's clearly an error. This is a book for adults, and a really good one.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource 25 Aug 2001
By char1077 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It seems Carol Rose went through every culture to collect all the entries. Its very hard, these days, to find good resource materials for mythological beings but this book has it all. No fairy tale aspects, just facts:) Definetly recommended for the fantasy writer or fantasy fanatic.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the title indicates 24 Sep 2002
By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an amazingly comprehensive volume cataloguing spirits--supernatural beings less powerful than deities--from cultures around the world.
A book like this is hard to summarize in a review, but it suffices to say that this is a wonderfully broad overview of the subject, covering every culture and every spirit you can think of, with only a little bit of oversimplification. (Durga, for example, is referred to as evil, which is somewhat less than accurate.) Spirits, demons, djinns, faeries, and their kin are all present and accounted for. Use this as a first reference, then make sure to look more deeply into whatever interests you most.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference to the Other World 2 Dec 2007
By Zekeriyah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Carol Rose's 'Spirit, Fairies, Leprechauns and Goblins' is exactly what it claims to be - an encyclopediac guide to all manner of spirits, ghosts, djinn, goblins, angels, demons, fairies, dwarves, gods and other denizens of folklore and myth. And while no such volume could ever be complete, given how rich (and often contradcitory) the world's folkelore really is, this volume is still quite good. No doubt those reading this book will have heard of, say, the Green Man, La Llorona, brownies, nagas, trolls and elves, but what about more obscure tales such as Pahuanuiapitaaiterai, the each usige, hantu ayer or leshii? Each spirit, goblin or deity is given a seperate, dictionary style entry, along with references and related articles. Entries may refer to individual beings (Coyote, Lilith, the Jersey Devil) or types of spirits (black dogs, ohdowas, pitris, roane). Furthermore, she also gives a series of appendices at the end, breaking down entries by type of spirit (Demon, Nat, Nymph, Keremet, etc), associations (spirits of water, spirits of nature, spirits of fate, spirits of disease, etc), and country or culture (Welsh, Gypsy, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Vietnamese, Norse, etc).

One of the big strengths here is that Rose was so thorough in including often overlooked non-western beings, like Indian gandharvas, Malay langsuir, Afro-Brazilian Exu or the Penobscot wanagemeswak. In addition, she does make notes on regional variations on particular beings, such as the different role of Daevas in Hinduism and Persian Zoroastrianism, or how dwarves change in German, Scnadinavian and other folklores. And yet, as previous reviewers noted, she also sometimes displays very obvious western biases. For instance, saying Durga is 'evil' completely misunderstands her role in Hinduism. Far from being evil, Durga is a demon-slayer and one of the most beloved aspects of the Goddess (Devi) in all of India! Even in her more destructive aspect of Kali, she is still not 'evil.' Still, one cannot be an expert on everything, and excepting these cultural biases, this work is a good reference for looking up various spirit beliefs. More detailed research you can find elsewhere.

So while there are indeed a couple of shortcomings, this is still an excellent resource for looking up different types of goblins, bogies, phantoms, demons and other denizens of the invisible worlds. Couple this with a half-way decent library of folklore, mythology and legends and your set to do some serious research here. Students of folklore will get good use out of this book, especially with regards to the more obscure beings, so definately give this book a look. As for myself, I saw she has a companion volume, 'Giants, Monsters and Dragons,' which I am going to pick up soon.
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