Thursday 30 November 2017

Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies: 500 AD to the Present

I'd like to share some exciting news, I wrote a chapter for a fairy folklore book, and it's been released today! Drumroll please..... Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies: 500 AD to the Present, with editors Simon Young and Ceri Houlbrook.

My chapter is a reworked and much improved summary of my recent research into the Trows of Orkney and Shetland, an unusual species of fairy very dear to my heart. The book contains 16 chapters, each written by a different fairy folklorist, and covering a variety of areas of the UK, and also some fairies who moved overseas to America and Canada. The chapters are:

1 ‘Fairy Queens and Pharisees: Sussex’ Jacqueline Simpson
2 ‘Pucks and Lights: Worcestershire’ Pollyanna Jones
3 ‘Pixies and Pixy Rocks: Devon’ Mark Norman and Jo Hickey-Hall
4 ‘Fairy Magic and the Cottingley Photographs: Yorkshire’ Richard Sugg
5 ‘Fairy Barrows and Cunning Folk: Dorset’ Jeremy Harte
6 ‘Fairy Holes and Fairy Butter: Cumbria’ Simon Young
7 ‘The SĂ­dhe and Fairy Forts: Ireland’ Jenny Butler
8 ‘The Seelie and Unseelie Courts: Scotland’ Ceri Houlbrook
9 ‘Trows and Trowie Wives: Orkney and Shetland’ Laura Coulson
10 ‘The Fair Folk and Enchanters: Wales’ Richard Suggett
11 ‘Pouques and the Faiteaux: Channel Islands’ Francesca Bihet
12 ‘George Waldron and the Good People: Isle of Man’ Stephen Miller
13 ‘Piskies and Knockers:Cornwall’ Ronald M. James
14 ‘Puritans and Pukwudgies: New England’ Peter Muise
15 ‘Fairy Bread and Fairy Squalls: Atlantic Canada’ Simon Young
16 ‘Banshees and Changelings: Irish America’ Chris Woodyard

You can see a preview of it here on Amazon, and it's also available at Blackwell's, and hopefully your local bookshop too!

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!


Emma Cooper said...

Congrats on the book - looks like a great read!

The Faery Folklorist said...

Thank you! :) So many wonderful authors have been involved in the project and worked so hard, i'm sure there's something for everyone in there! I especially loved reading about the overseas fairies as most of my research has been UK based!

Stella said...

Interesting blog. I like folk and legend a lot and today I have seen a film on TV, The name of the picture is "Sacrifise". Talk about "trow" and "kunal trow"
I am a teacher in Spain and I would like to recomend my children a story about trow.
In the film mention an alphabet (may a kunal alphabet? I was looking it for but I can't find one.
Your blog is very interesting I will read some articles next Easter Holiday.
And I take this opportunity to wish you Happy Easter
Best Regard.

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hiya Stella, lovely to meet you! I've seen that movie too, it's a great movie, and the book it's based on is even better! It's also called Sacrifice, and is by Sharon Bolton. well worth a read.

Unfortunately some of the folklore in the movie has been made up by the author. Kunal Trows do get a brief mention in Jessie Saxby's 'Shetland Traditional Lore' (1932) but not much information is given about them unfortunately, and no mention of rituals like in the movie. I've never come across a Trow alphabet, I think the movie used Scandinavian runes If I remember rightly. The Vikings did visit Shetland though so there is a connection.

THe only Trow book I know of for children was a small book called The Fiddler and the Trow by Tom Muir, though i've not read it myself and i'm not sure if it's still in print:

Tom Muir writes wonderful books about the Folklore of Orkney and Shetland, I'd think his book The Mermaid Bride is child friendly if an adult were to read the tales to a child. He wrote a children's book called The Hogboon of Hellihowe too.

Here are some more general Scottish folklore books suitable for children:

The Book of Beasties: Volume 1: A Scottish Bestiary of Old, by Belle Robertson (This one is a bit dark and creepy in places so not for easily scared children)

An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Mythical Creatures, by Theresa Breslin. She also wrote An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales.

There are a few Scottish children's books about Selkies too, the seal people, if those would interest the children you teach.

I hope that helps, and you have a wonderful Easter too! :)

firefly said...

I'm so excited that you wrote about the trows. I'm from the Orkney island of Rousay and we had a trow knowe in the field next to our house. It was never dug, or ploughed over as that would incur, obviously, the wrath of the trow family that lived there. The Vikings settled in Orkney too, we have a rich tradition of Norse Vikings and our language is called Norn.

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hi firefly, so sorry but I only just saw your comment, don't remember getting an email notification for it! :( That must have been so amazing, having your own trow knowe right by your house, were there any particular stories associated with it? Would love to know what local people thought the Trows looked like, it seems to vary so much from place to place!