Reviews & Interviews

Book Review – A New Dictionary of Fairies: A 21st Century Exploration of Celtic and Related Western European Fairies by Morgan Daimler

Book Review

A New Dictionary of Fairies

A 21st Century Exploration of Celtic and Related Western European Fairies

by Morgan Daimler

416 Pages

Most people know of my views on fairies; specifically, my concerns when some people insist that fairies are wee, harmless creatures who only want to help us. The fae are powerful, unpredictable beings, but to be fair, they are also numerous and varied in type, and understanding them is a convoluted and confusing process. Morgan Daimler’s new book is a massive aid for anyone wanting to understand the world of fairies and magical beings.

When I was a little girl, one of my favourite books was ‘A Field Guide to the Little People’ by Nancy Arrowsmith. There were so many creatures from all across the world, but particularly from the lands I lived in and knew of: England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. I loved the twisted tales of selkies and grabbingly-greedy children, gold turning to coal by dawn or hapless miners trapped underground, all because they didn’t leave a crust for the knockers. When I got a bit older, I ended up seeking out more in-depth information about the spirits and beings of places. I discovered Katharine Briggs’ Dictionary of Fairies. The number of creatures covered in Briggs’ volume astounded me, yet this new encyclopaedia by Morgan Daimler, published by Moon Books, has taken this knowledge to a whole new level. 

Morgan’s book describes dozens and dozens of different types of fairy in painstaking detail. Like any good encyclopaedia, she also includes useful entries on all things fairy-related. Look out for sections like the one on blood, which covers a surprising wealth of information on human blood, fairy blood, and plenty of other fairly gruesome and gripping points. There are sections on pointed ears and glamour, helping break down assumptions and common associations about fairies. Some of the most exciting sections are the ones about origins and physicality, providing more information than I have ever seen in one place about the existence of fairies and fairy lore. 

This is an absolute ‘must have’ book for anyone who is interested in any the fair folk, the little people, sprites, pixies, or even folklore in general. As with all her books, this one is meticulously researched, and despite being encyclopaedic in nature, it’s written in an engaging and easy to read way that keeps the pages turning. A book to keep handy on the shelf and return to again and again.

 

 

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.