Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Seeing Fairies, a book review

Firstly, an apology for my lack of recent updates. The past year has been somewhat lacking in fairy seeking adventures, but this was definitely made up for with another big adventure... marriage! :)

So what have I been doing instead of wandering out looking for fairies? Catching up on my reading and working my way through the very large pile of folklore books that spill from my overflowing bookcases! One new book in particular deserves a mention...
Seeing Fairies: From the Lost Archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, Authentic Reports of Fairies in Modern Times. by Marjorie T. Johnson, with an introduction from Simon Young.

Marjorie Johnson was secretary of the Fairy Investigation Society in the 1950s and throughout her lifetime she collected stories of fairy sightings, though sadly her book was never published in English during her lifetime. She collected together hundreds of stories of fairy sightings from people of all walks of life, with sightings of nature spirits, wood elves, undines, gnomes, tree spirits, banshees, water fairies, fire fairies, and much more. Many of these stories came from adults who remembered seeing fairies during their childhood, though other people including Marjorie herself saw fairies throughout their adulthood too. Some of the sightings are so outlandish and peculiar they truly do need to be read to be believed!

One of the most exciting stories for me was the mention of the cat-like fairy creatures of the New Forest, a story I had often heard mention of but never found an original source for until now. I was also excited to see a chapter on the Gnomes of Wollaton Park, who could ever tire of reading about these curious little bearded gnomes and their racing motor cars! Wherever you live in the UK you're sure to find a story or two in your local area, from sea fairies in Looe, fire fairies in London, and Banshees in Ireland to green wood elves in Lincolnshire and a rather surprising sighting of a Leprechaun in Northumberland!

This book truly does open a great many new and exciting doors into fairy research, with hundreds of previously unpublished fairy sightings just waiting to be further researched, and new fairy locations just waiting to be visited. An essential read for all dedicated fairy folklorists!
The book is available to buy in the UK from Amazon UK, and in the US from Amazon US. Further details of how to buy the book in other countries can be found on the publishers website here.
Until I get the chance to visit more fairy sites, would readers like to see more fairy folklore book recommendations? I should also mention that the curious fae creatures above found their way to me from the rather talented Fuego Fatuo and Wendy Froud.


Valkrye said...

Lovely to see you back ~ had given up checking to see if you had re-appeared but suddenly thought to try this evening . Yes, in answer to your question, would enjoy hearing of any interesting books faery related until your next faery excursion out ~

The Faery Folklorist said...

Glad to see you're still here too!! :D I really should get adventuring again, I went to the Isle of Mull a couple of weeks ago and found quite a few faery stories but sadly not much in the way of specific locations to visit! Hope to get back blogging again soon though hopefully :)

Valkrye said...

Hello! Sorry I had not checked back till now to see if you responded to my comment. Glad too to see you are about and look forward to whenever you decide to blog again. All the best!

Heron said...

Looks interesting - thanks, I'm always on the lookout for books like this.

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hi Heron! Always on the look out for new books here too, my shelves are packed but I can always make room :D I also recommend this one too if you haven't already read it! http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Faerie-Queens-Collection-Exploring/dp/1905297645

Mara Fam said...

Hello! I like this blog and I nominated it for the Liebster Award 2015

Unknown said...

Hi - I found you via this book - which i am currently reading ! And which urged me to join the fairy investigation society.

I can't find a separate comment page - or email- for general topics but wanted to share with you my forthcoming novel information.. as it is based around the faery lore of Cornwall.

My website is:


And there is a contact form on the first page - I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for the blog !

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hi Stephen! Your book sounds very intriguing! Have sent you a message through facebook :)

Nashoba Tohbi said...

When you venture into Wiltshire, there's a town called Calne where I had my first Fairy experience. I'd been doing some healing work in a circle of Pine trees which is atop Castle Hill. I opened my eyes and the circle was full of of fairies, small, big, wings, no wings, hair, bald, too many to take in the spectacle of this. Then the word, 'Oberon' came to mind and there he was in all his fae glory, he was wearing western type clothing, leather trousers, a full length coat, his hair was jet black, the only thing that separated him from humans was his eyes, which were jet black orbs. Since then I've been seeing the fae quite often.

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hi Nashoba, thank you for sharing your wonderful fairy sighting! There is a fairy census being conducted at the moment to collect fairy beliefs and fairy sightings, perhaps you'd like to share it there too? :) http://www.fairyist.com/survey/