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The Fairy Faith In Celtic Countries : Evans-Wentz : Folklore Mythology Fairies

The Fairy Faith In Celtic Countries : Evans-Wentz : Folklore Mythology Fairies

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The Fairy Faith In Celtic Countries

By Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz

Published by University Press, United States, 1966. First Edition  / First Printing. Hardback book with dust jacket. 524 pages including the index.

Four sections to book:

1. Presenting living testimony for fairies;
2. Recorded traditions of Celtic literature and mythology;
3. Examines different theories of fairies and discusses the religious aspects;
4. Puts forward a rational case for the reality of fairy life.

This is one of the most in-depth and scholarly attempts to explain the phenomena of the Celtic belief in fairies. Based on Evans-Wentz' Oxford doctoral thesis, it includes an extensive survey of the literature from many different perspectives, including folk-lore, history, anthropology and psychology. The heart of the book is the ethnographic fieldwork conducted by Evans-Wentz, an invaluable snapshot of the fairy belief system taken just on the cusp of modernity. There are regional surveys of the fairy-faith in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and the Isle of Man. Evan-Wentz later went on to become one of the leading authorities on Buddhism, and published many of the key documents of Tibetan Buddhism including the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Evans-Wentz examines each of the hypothetical explanations of the fairy phenomena. Among these are the theories that fairies were a reclusive race of dwarfs, that they are disembodied spirits, or that they are a figment of our imaginations. Evans-Wentz concludes that they may indeed be a manifestation of inhabitants of a higher reality that only some of us are able to view, let alone understand.

We come away from this study with a multi-dimensional view of the fairies, who, much like the grey aliens of UFO belief, inhabit a narrative which seems too consistent to be the product of insanity, yet too bizarre for conventional explanation.


A good first edition. Scarce. The dust jacket remains unclipped in price and is in good condition with some marks and a couple of closed tears. Boards and spine are in good condition. All contents present and pages clean throughout. No writing or names to the book. Overall a good first edition.
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