Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original fairy book
It's great to see a reissue of the greatest fairy book of them all, Robert Kirk's 1691 tome, The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies. This amazing book--with its descriptions of second sight, of doublemen or co-walkers, and of fairy lives, customs and even past-times--has an amazing backstory attached to it too. Kirk, seventh son of a seventh son(in the...
Published on 6 Jan 2007 by Sophie Masson

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Version with a Better Commentary is Available
This Extraordinary book is ruined by its terrible introduction and commentary by Andrew Lang which seems completely off the mark. For a well researched and thoroughly experiential commentary which delves deeply into the material presented in the text then look no further than R.J Stewart's excellent edition available on amazon:Robert Kirk: Walker Between the Worlds
Published 24 months ago by Rohan White


Most Helpful First | Newest First

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original fairy book, 6 Jan 2007
By 
Sophie Masson (Armidale, New South Wales Australia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
It's great to see a reissue of the greatest fairy book of them all, Robert Kirk's 1691 tome, The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies. This amazing book--with its descriptions of second sight, of doublemen or co-walkers, and of fairy lives, customs and even past-times--has an amazing backstory attached to it too. Kirk, seventh son of a seventh son(in the Highlands, almost a guarantee of psychic powers) was a bilingual(English and Gaelic) Episcopalian pastor, working at Aberfoyle in the Trossachs area of the Highlands. The material he collected in this book comes direct from his Highland parishioners but he also compiled it for the delectation of his enlightened and curious friends in England, so the book is an eccentric mixture of the very folkoric and the proto-scientific. (Kirk also had a metaphysical reason for compiling the book--and an interesting one, given the attitude of many religious fundamentalists today to such beliefs. He felt that if people discounted or ridiculed such beliefs then it wouldn't be long before they started discounting all supernatural things, including a belief in God Himself.) Anyway, not long after the publication of the book, Kirk was found stone dead one morning at the foot of the Dun Sidh (doonshee, or fairy hill) at Aberfoyle. Though his red sandstone gravestone is in the Aberfoyle cemetery(with only a mention of his work in translating the Bible into Gaelic, and not his fairy work), it's said that his body is not in that grave but that he was spirited body and soul into the great tall Scots pine that sits at the top of the Dun Sidh, surrounded by an army of little oaks. That was because the fairies were reputedly so angry with him for divulging their secrets! Today, the site is still extraordinary, spooky--with hundreds of wishes on ribbons tied to all those little oaks, and the Scots pine standing there alone..It's easy to believe in Kirk's curious and piteous fate.

A must-have addition for the library of anyone interested in fairies, Highland folklore, and myth. For those who are interested, I have a piece about Kirk on my site at [...] And for those interested in reading novels inspired by this book, the greatest is Australian writer Christopher Koch's 'The Doubleman.'
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really rather extraordinary book, 21 Jan 2008
By 
Melmoth (London, England) - See all my reviews
... written in the late 17th Century by a Scottish Episcopalian Minister with an apparently sincere belief in the world of the supernatural. At a time when witches were still being condemned, Robert Kirk was collecting the stories of his parishioners and fashioning them into an account of a parallel world of sprites, wraiths, fauns, elves and spirits. The book also includes an excellent introduction by Marina Warner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book shame about the intro, 30 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies (Paperback)
I've been curious about this book for a while and it was as charming as I had hoped. The Rev Robert Kirk must have been some man. It's just a shame that the 19th century introduction by Andrew Lang (which takes up a full 50% of this short book) is tediously repetitive and far more interested in psychic phenomenon than in fairy belief. This is a curio, probably only worth buying for those with some connection to the topic either through their heritage or their belief system. It will teach you only a little, but is an interesting read (assuming you skip the introduction).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Version with a Better Commentary is Available, 18 April 2012
By 
Rohan White - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies (Paperback)
This Extraordinary book is ruined by its terrible introduction and commentary by Andrew Lang which seems completely off the mark. For a well researched and thoroughly experiential commentary which delves deeply into the material presented in the text then look no further than R.J Stewart's excellent edition available on amazon:Robert Kirk: Walker Between the Worlds
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars only small chapter by Revd Kirk at back, 4 Jan 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies (Paperback)
Ive finished this book, re-printed in USA, kept nodding off,seems there was a lot in the introduction,by someone else, which I wasn`t looking for,I found a small bit at the back, so am really disappointed,also I found it really difficult to understand, but that`s because I`m not a Professor, Doctor, or university bod, just a normal Jo Bloggs type,the drawings I don`t like,these r not like the other book.However when I nodded off ,which is my wont, or curse or gift,semi-trance, I saw lots of things, not the faeries themselves, but saw a celtic tombstone on a hill, with a celtic carved three legged milking stool, so perhaps a milkmaid got lost in the land of the fairies as well, and is showing me not only Reverend Kirk is trapped there, she is too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very short and not well explicated, 2 Dec 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies (Paperback)
As this little treatise was written over 300 years ago it almost needs translation for a lay readership. The introduction and the History of the Book and Author feel of almost equal antiquity and impenetrability. Together they are longer than Robert Kirk's essay. In fact little is said about Fairies and the "Good Folk" by Robert Kirk and rather more about native Scottish Seers and their feats and abilities. So this is a quirky and interesting read.It is especially striking that a man of the cloth was so comfortable to research these matters and report on them without expecting wrath or ridicule.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairies!, 17 Dec 2012
By 
Tania Poole "Merry Jackdaw" (Ballarat, VIC Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really need to re-read this book to really take it in - half the time I was confused and did not know what was going on - Robert Kirk was a strange character indeed, I am not sure a religious man like this should write stuff about fairies. It is very likely to be biased. I'm still gald I own this book..
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb60af6a8)

This product

The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies
The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies by Robert Rev. Kirk (Paperback - 25 July 2008)
6.26
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews