The sanitized version, courtesy of English Victorians, presents fairies as a type of supernatural creature, basically benign, and friendly toward humans. This image has been developed and expanded upon by children's writers and pop culture, like the films of Walt Disney, and has become part of the overall perception of fairies.
Join Dr. Bob Curran as he explores the not-so-comfortable world of fairies in his new book, Dark Fairies. Dr. Curran investigates the roots of fairy kind, exposing fairies as beings much different and far more sinister than they are commonly perceived.
In ancient times, "fairytales" resembled horror stories, with fairies drinking human blood to survive and snatching children, whisking them off to a demon land. Fairies were considered to be evil and dangerous, and to be feared and avoided.
Dr. Bob Curran investigates the folkloric roots of the fairy kind, tracing their origins from the sprites and maenads of Classical times to the sanitized versions of the English Victorians. Among other aspects, he examines the connections in the Christian mind between the fairy kind and demons; the links between fairies and ancient, pagan gods; and the often-strained relations between fairies and humans across the ages.
Dark Fairies is beautifully illustrated in black and white by Ian Daniels.
Dark Fairies (EAN 978-1-60163-110-7, pages: 192, price: $14.99) was published by New Page Books. The book is available at Amazon.com!
About the author and illustrator:
Dr. Bob Curran was born in County Down, Northern Ireland. After leaving school, he held down a number of jobs and travelled extensively. He now works as a writer and broadcaster, as well as in an advisory capacity for a number of governmental organizations with regard to culture and education. He is the author of numerous books for New Page Books, including Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, and Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms. He currently lives in the north of Ireland with his wife and young family. He appears frequently on Coast to Coast AM and other radio programs.
Ian Daniels has illustrated book covers for Marion Zimmer Bradley, Orson Scott Card, and Poul Anderson. His illustration book projects for New Page Books include Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, Dragonlore, and Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms.
My Take on the Book
Being that I have been surrounded by the positive, Disney versions of fairies since my kids were born (think Tinkerbell), this book was quite a bit darker and not one that I would particularly share with my young daughters. In saying this though the book was filled with fascinating ideas to what fairies were seen as in ancient time, definitely not the happy go lucky ones that you see in the Disney movies. These fairies are much darker, mischievious, and in some cases dangerous.
I had not read a book like this in the past and it opened my eyes to the world around me and to the historical significance that fairies played over the years. If you are interested in historical lore, this book will be one that you will want to add to your own collection!
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