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The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries Paperback – 5 Jul 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: The Lost Library (5 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906621101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906621100
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 638,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

What are fairies, those romantic and sometimes mischievous little people-- pixies, nixies, elves, fauns, brownies, dwarfs, leprechauns, and all the other forms of the daoine sidhe (fairy people)? Are they real? Folklorists say they are fragments of ancient religious beliefs; occultists call them nature spirits; the peasant tradition says they are fallen angels who were not good enough to be saved or bad enough to be lost.

Dr. Evans-Wentz is best known as the author-translator of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", but his first love was this book, which presents a body of tradition and testimony about an elusive order of life that survives in the natural setting of wild and lonely places. He was not satisfied with merely formal study, but collected first-hand reports of fairies in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Brittany, and faced up to the key questions avoided by other folklorists. Dr. Evans-Wentz, whose journeys led him from the haunts of fairyland to the wilderness of Tibet, opens a path for us to the luminous reality behind the traditions of folklore. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Evans-Wents, Jesus College Oxford. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a lovely read. The gentle strength of Evans-Wentz comes through in all his dealings with the people he encounters. The material too is interesting in view of his later work.
Unhappily this particular edition is flawed with spelling errors on almost every page making it at times confusing to read. The illustrations and layout make it enjoyable but in all honesty I cannot recommend it as wholeheartedly as I would like to have done. A little more effort on the proof-reading would have made this a lovely volume. Sadly lack of effort at this stage of production has let down the rest of the work.
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Format: Paperback
Brilliant doctoral thesis on Fairy faith in celtic britain and France by the famous Dr.Evans Wentz who later went on to translate The Tibetan Book of The Dead after extensive travelling in Tibet. In a host of badly written books on the Fairies this book stands out as a beacon of academic research and brilliance.
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Format: Paperback
Beautifully written by a master painter with words. A must for anyone seeking to become acquainted with Celtic Spirituality. The author takes in hand each Celtic country, describing the country, the life of the individual, and the unseen, which is so very present in this part of the world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book some 20 years ago and decided I needed to own it again, this is the definitive compendium of fairy folklore in the British Isles spanning the 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b82e0cc) out of 5 stars 37 reviews
104 of 107 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b843d80) out of 5 stars One of a kind 28 July 2001
By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was written in the early twentieth century, and my opinion is that no faery book has yet been written to equal it. Evans-Wentz was a sophisticated scholar, and yet treated faery beliefs with the utmost of respect, and even devoted a chapter to scientific and psychological findings that render such beliefs valid. Without looking down his nose on anyone (except maybe stuffy fellow scholars who lost their imagination somewhere along the line), he reports stories of faery encounters in every Celtic nation. He interviewed great numbers of Celtic people in his travels, and collected a vast treasure trove of tales. These range from firsthand accounts to "a friend of a friend" legends to stories handed down through the generations.
After presenting a mass of information on the modern faery faith, he goes on to relate the ancient faery beliefs held by the Celts of old, as recorded in their mythology. Many pages are devoted to the adventures of CuChulainn, Arthur, Bran, and other figures who moved in and out of the Otherworld. He also discusses the Otherworld itself, the misty land where the faeries, the gods, and the dead dwelled. Especially stunning is his assertion that the Celts participated in mysteries much like those of Eleusis. The mythological evidence IS THERE, as Evans-Wentz proves. I only wish someone in those days had written something down to indicate whether or not this is true!
This is the best book ever written on the fae, IMHO. It ought to be on every Celtophile's shelf right next to Squire's _Celtic Myth and Legend_. As a matter of fact, the two books make excellent companions for one another.
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b843ed0) out of 5 stars not much to add 18 Nov. 2002
By S. Roit - Published on
Format: Paperback what others have said.
There is no book on this subject I have found that equals it.
This is a testament in itself, as this was first published around 1890.
Wentz was an academic, a scholar, yet in early chapters his descriptions of each area of the Isles is breathtaking. It's not dry, it's not stuffy. He spent years collecting encounters, traditions, and beliefs from the most correct source. The people themselves. This contrasts rightfully the tendancy (even more so these days with anything Celtic especially) to project things onto a culture it does not contain. No frilly, watered down, ... little creatures at your beck and call here, which is what other "authors" would have you believe.
For some, the latter chapters of this book will seem a bit dry compared to the first. Regardless of what you think of his theories, they are all intriguing, and well thought out by the author, though I agree he became a bit enchanted himself during the writing. (not a bad thing, IMO, I was enchanted as well) The collection of tales alone is worth the price. I enjoyed every page.
This should be on the shelf of anyone who says they want to learn about Faeries, Celts, and the cultures they came from.
Why read what any old outsider says? Read the words of the people who were born and raised in these cultures. They know themselves better than anyone else, no?
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1777ec) out of 5 stars Basic Book for Your Folklore Shelf 7 Jan. 2001
By Skip Church - Published on
Format: Paperback
Walter Evans-Wentz set out to write this book as his dissertation, at the dawn of academic anthropology. Along the way, he became more than a little entranced. Still, Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries is one of the best, and most important, scholarly works on the topic, and I strongly recommend it. Don't get sucked into buying a lot of phoney 'fairies-with-wings' junk. The real deal is much more interesting. Stick to Rev. Kirk, Peter Narvaez, K.M. Briggs, Sir John Rhys, and Evans-Wentz, and you'll be on the right track.
59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8480a8) out of 5 stars Avoid the New Page Press Edition 8 Feb. 2006
By Trevor Murphy - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you care at all about books' content and appearance, avoid spending your hard-earned money on this edition. A classic Evans-Wentz's book may be, but New Page Books, the publisher of this edition, has made it look ridiculous by punctuating the text with cheap clip-art style doodles. Almost every page is defaced by art that's silly, cartoony, and does little to illustrate or advance the author's argument.

An even worse crime against Evans-Wentz's work is the incompetent typesetting. Even a casual glance reveals howlers: "uncivilized" has become "tin-civilized"; "Karnak" is turned into "Karnab." Was there even a cursory attempt at proofreading? A professional publisher wouldn't have let this monstrosity see the light of day.

If you buy books just to keep them on the shelf, this edition may be fine for you. If actually intend to read this book, find another edition.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8482c4) out of 5 stars The Worst Edition Possible 24 Mar. 2006
By WP - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The New Page edition of this book is a true piece of cr*p! Every single page has multiple typographical errors, obviously deriving from shoddy proofreading of the text they scanned. I thought I could deal with it, but it reached the point where it was distracting, so I ordered the Dover edition instead. I was an idiot not to get that one in the first place. Don't repeat my mistake!
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