Celebrate Irish Folklore in “A History of Irish Fairies”
Top o’ the morning to ya! As St. Patrick’s Day, that beloved holiday proudly celebrated by generations of Irish-Americans, draws closer, instead of purchasing Irish soda bread from your local bakery, why not celebrate March 17 by learning more about the history that surrounds the folklore of the Emerald Isle?
While society at large is used to seeing Tinkerbell-esque fairies and leprechauns in the media, the history of Irish folklore goes well beyond a pot of gold or a tiny fairy woman with a pixie haircut who is jealous of Peter Pan’s new BFF Wendy. Now, you can learn more about the ‘Good Folk’ who live in the hills in Ireland and you never know—it may just help you win a trivia game on St. Patrick’s Day!
Carolyn White’s A History of Irish Fairies covers essential folkloric information such as what fairies eat and drink, where they live, and fairy-mortal relationships—which is, of course, where Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien partially got the inspiration for the love story between the human Aragorn and the elf princess Arwen.
White’s book is also a wealth of information for anyone wanting to learn more about the different types of fairies as well. She talks about banshees, pookas, silkies, and cluricauns and provides many examples from Celtic lore as well.
Plus, there’s several chapters dedicated to spine-tingling stories about changelings, humans that have been whisked away to Fairyland, how fairies are immortal, if there’s any connection between fairies and the Christian concept of the Devil, and finally, how to ward off fairies. Here’s a tip: they really don’t like iron. Just like some humans are allergic to peanuts, fairies are known to be highly allergic to iron in Irish mythology.
From the whimsical aspects of Irish folklore to the chilling tales of malevolent fairies, White’s book leaves no stone unturned in her pursuit of a deeper understanding about the ‘Wee Folk’ of the Emerald Isle!