Diminutive fairies of various kinds have been reported through centuries, ranging from quite tiny to the size of a human child. Some depictions of fairies show them with footwear, others as barefoot. Wings, while common in Victorian and later artworks, are rare in folklore; fairies flew by means of magic, sometimes perched on ragwort stems or the backs of birds. Early modern fairies does not derive from a single origin; the term is a conflation of disparate elements from folk belief sources, influenced by literature and speculation.
The Scandinavian elves also served as an influence. Folklorists and mythologists have variously depicted fairies as: Folklorists have suggested that 'fairies' arose from various earlier beliefs, which lost currency with the advent of Christianity. King James , in his dissertation Daemonologie , stated the term "faries" referred to illusory spirits demonic entities that prophesied to, consorted with, and transported the individuals they served; in medieval times , a witch or sorcerer who had a compact with a familiar spirit might receive these services.
A Christian tenet held that fairies were a class of "demoted" angels. In England's Theosophist circles of the 19th century, a belief in the "angelic" nature of fairies was reported. The more Earthbound Devas included nature spirits , elementals , and fairies ,  which were described as appearing in the form of colored flames, roughly the size of a human. Gardner had likened fairies to butterflies, whose function was to provide an essential link between the energy of the sun and the plants of Earth, describing them as having no clean-cut shape A theory held that fairies were originally worshiped as minor deities, such as nymphs and tree spirits ,  and with the burgeoning predominance of the Christian Church , reverence for these deities carried on, but in a dwindling state of perceived power.
Many deprecated deities of older folklore and myth were repurposed as fairies in Victorian fiction See the works of W. A recorded Christian belief of the 17th century cast all fairies as demons. Lewis cast as a politic disassociation from faeries. The Triumph of the Moon , by Ronald Hutton. This contentious environment of thought contributed to the modern meaning of 'fairies'. One belief held that fairies were spirits of the dead .
This derived from many factors in common of various folklore and myths: There is a theory that fairy folklore evolved from folk memories of a prehistoric race: Proponents find support in the tradition of cold iron as a charm against fairies, viewed as a cultural memory of invaders with iron weapons displacing peoples who had just stone, bone, wood, etc. In folklore, flint arrowheads from the Stone Age were attributed to the fairies as " elf-shot ",  while their green clothing and underground homes spoke to a need for camouflage and covert shelter from hostile humans, their magic a necessary skill for combating those with superior weaponry.
In a Victorian tenet of evolution, mythic cannibalism among ogres was attributed to memories of more savage races, practising alongside "superior" races of more refined sensibilities. A theory that fairies, et al. Much folklore of fairies involves methods of protecting oneself from their malice, by means such as cold iron , charms see amulet , talisman of rowan trees or various herbs , or simply shunning locations "known" to be theirs, ergo avoiding offending any fairies.
More dangerous behaviors were also attributed to fairies; any form of sudden death might have stemmed from a fairy kidnapping, the evident corpse a magical replica of wood. In Scottish folklore , fairies are divided into the Seelie Court more beneficently inclined, but still dangerous , and the Unseelie Court more malicious. While fairies of the Seelie Court enjoyed playing generally harmless pranks on humans, those of the Unseelie Court often brought harm to humans for entertainment.
Trooping fairies refers to those who appear in groups and might form settlements, as opposed to solitary fairies, who do not live or associate with others of their kind. In this context, the term fairy is usually held in a wider sense, including various similar beings, such as dwarves and elves of Germanic folklore. A considerable amount of lore about fairies revolves around changelings , fairy children left in the place of stolen human babies. In pre-industrial Europe, a peasant family's subsistence frequently depended upon the productive labor of each member, and a person who was a permanent drain on the family's scarce resources could pose a threat to the survival of the entire family.
In terms of protective charms, wearing clothing inside out,  church bells, St. John's wort , and four-leaf clovers are regarded as effective. In Newfoundland folklore, the most popular type of fairy protection is bread, varying from stale bread to hard tack or a slice of fresh home-made bread. Bread is associated with the home and the hearth, as well as with industry and the taming of nature, and as such, seems to be disliked by some types of fairies.
- Job: Trusting Through Trials (Fisherman Bible Studyguides).
- Ultimo incontro a Dresda (Italian Edition).
- Die Freiheit der Untertanen im Leviathan (German Edition);
- Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief & Unbelief.
On the other hand, in much of the Celtic folklore , baked goods are a traditional offering to the folk, as are cream and butter. This may be a distinguishing trait between the Seelie Court from the Unseelie Court , such that fairies use them to protect themselves from more wicked members of their race. While many fairies will confuse travelers on the path, the will o' the wisp can be avoided by not following it. Certain locations, known to be haunts of fairies, are to be avoided; C. Lewis reported hearing of a cottage more feared for its reported fairies than its reported ghost. Paths that the fairies travel are also wise to avoid.
Home-owners have knocked corners from houses because the corner blocked the fairy path,  and cottages have been built with the front and back doors in line, so that the owners could, in need, leave them both open and let the fairies troop through all night. Other actions were believed to offend fairies. Brownies were known to be driven off by being given clothing, though some folktales recounted that they were offended by inferior quality of the garments given, and others merely stated it, some even recounting that the brownie was delighted with the gift and left with it.
Millers were thought by the Scots to be "no canny", owing to their ability to control the forces of nature, such as fire in the kiln, water in the burn, and for being able to set machinery a-whirring. Superstitious communities sometimes believed that the miller must be in league with the fairies. In Scotland, fairies were often mischievous and to be feared.
No one dared to set foot in the mill or kiln at night, as it was known that the fairies brought their corn to be milled after dark. So long as the locals believed this, the miller could sleep secure in the knowledge that his stores were not being robbed. It has managed to absorb the imaginative perceptions of the Romans, Celts, and Norse peoples" ,1. According to Smith, the fairy tale, in particular, has exerted a powerful influence on fantasy literature.
Rockman touches on the importance of these roots in her article defending the use of fantasy with children.
Regardless of the deep connection between the folktale and fantasy, fantasy novels are not merely extended literary fairy tales. Nikolajeva discusses both the similarities and differences between the two genres in her article "Fantasy Literature and Fairy Tales: They have inherited the fairy- tale system of characters, set out by Vladimir Propp and his followers: The essential difference between the fairy-tale hero and the fantasy protagonist is that the latter often lacks heroic features, can be scared and even reluctant to perform the task, and can sometimes fail. The final goal of fantasy is seldom marriage and enthronement; in contemporary philosophical and ethical fantasy it is most often a matter of spiritual maturation.
The Faerie Tradition in Popular Culture and Literature As discussed in the section on Fairylore in Chapters 2 and 3, in earlier times fairies were part of the world people inhabited. They were aspects of their world with which people struggled, like forces of nature. As rationalism developed in society, and the supematural became less credible and less feared, the concept of Faerie took on a lighter quality, but did not disappear. The period of transition between the two views of Faerie was a slow and gradual one.
Victorian England was an unusual time for fairy lore because many people from all social classes seriously believed in the existence of fairies, elves, goblins, selkies and dwarfs otherwise know as the little people, and their beliefs were manifested in the prodigious amount of fairy stories, paintings, operas, plays, music and ballets from the 's to the tum of the century. The need to believe in other worlds and other types of living people was certainly connected to a need to escape the pressures of utilitarianism and industrialism.
She notes that although there is rich folkloric material, such as Briggs' research, not all of this tradition is readily available to contemporary children, of course. This type of fairy, which has medieval roots, had its great hey- day among the visual artists of the Victorian period, from whom we get our standard popular idea of the fairy, gauze, wings, flowers, mushrooms. Much scorn has been heaped upon such fairies. Windling, in "Fairies in Legend, Lore and Literature," discusses the fate of the fairies: Despite the fact that this is the dominant image of the fairy in popular culture, the darker aspect of Faerie did not completely disappear from arts, letters and popular culture.
Neither Puck, nor Oberon, could be deemed sweet or cute. Tinkerbell, even in the Disney version, is vengeful and jealous, and "Peter Pan has much in common with the otherworldly figures of demon-lover ballads and romances" Harris , In today's popular culture, this darker side of Faerie is re- emerging as a strong image and archetype in the works of authors, artists and filmmakers.
It was the literary fairies of the Tudor and Elizabethan era that were the first of the 'light and fluffy' fairy images in popular culture. Avery notes, "Shakespeare created a new species of fairy, and in doing so he brought about the destruction of the fairies of English folklore" , She continues discussing the fate of the fairies in the era of early rationalism.
Although they were essentially banished through the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, fairies returned to popular culture in the nineteenth century and grew in popularity through to the twentieth , Although the concept of fairies again became an integral part of popular culture, art and literature, it was most often a milder, softer version of Faerie that was now represented.
Although the softer image of the fairy was dominant, the original images did not completely cease to exist. One could find them i f one looked hard enough - in Ireland, for instance, in the fiction of James Stephens and Lord Dunsany. But in general, it was not until an Oxford don named J. Tolkien wrote about elves in a place called Middle-Earth that fairies came back to popular art in any numbers.
And then they came with a vengeance. Windling Tolkien, Lewis and their like, reintroduced strong folkloric images to popular culture. Harris discusses this in his dissertation "Folklore, Fantasy and Fiction," in which he states: He also discusses the power of using the traditional in modem story making: Zipes considers the specific use of fairytales by modem authors in When Dreams Come True. Wamer also analyzes the use of the traditional in modem fantasy literature.
Folklore and fairy tales are strong sources of inspiration for modem fantasists. In her article "Beauty and the Beast," Windling states: These ways are limited only by the imaginations of the artists themselves" Folk and fairy tales, being part of the oral tradition, have been ever evolving. Cianciolo looks at this phenomenon: From the beginning of mankind, stories were always told and then passed from narrator to narrator, each storyteller adding his personal touch by changing the story to suit himself The stories were recast whenever the storyteller wanted the story to fit the setting and values at home.
The first is the creation of new stories that use traditional style and content. The second is parody, found commonly in "fractured" fairy tales. The third is to reconstmct them into a framework with a particular point of view. The last approach that Stephens outlines is the psychological interpretation of the traditional tales , Altmann and de Vos have extensively studied the retellings of traditional tales for contemporary readers. In New Tales for Old, they look specifically at the modem interpretations for young adults.
UBC Theses and Dissertations
They discuss at length the reasons that folktales are such rich inspirations and sources. The folktale has this spongelike hospitality and resilience. Its economical style easily accommodates embellishment. The depthless, typical characters and undeveloped settings allow writers to elaborate their particular version of a tale, just as readers or listeners will fill in details meaningful to themselves.
The spaces between the extremes and among the isolated elements, like the additive style, are open to the creation of variously nuanced connections. The universal themes and spare, clean outlines of the folktale have a springy strength that supports interpretation without being bent permanently into a different shape by its weight.
These include the need for wonder and grounding in tradition in a contemporary world that lacks both , Perry also discusses the retellings of fairy tales by modem authors in two articles for The Looking Glass. In "Shaping the Shape of the Future," she states: Reworkings of long-standing stories that have been carefully adapted to current literary standards psychological characterization, sense of place, point of view , current literary forms the novel, most popularly , and current socio-political attitudes human rights, for example. Contemporary retellings of folk and fairy tales describe the shaping influence that human beings have on story over time, as well as the shaping influence that story has on human beings over time.
Conscientious, active, and self-aware, successful retellers must read as poets and archaeologists, locating and tracking image, sound, and pattem, deciphering metaphor and meaning for a contemporary audience. They must then translate their reading, subject to current socio-historical views, into the operative metaphors of their written work. In so doing, retellers describe the making of meaning as an ongoing process, transmitting and upholding the understanding that a tale has both shaped and been shaped by past voices and hands.
As a result, it is the nature of retellings that their narration interacts with literary and social history, and that they are self-reflexive. The continued popularity of Lewis and Tolkien, the modem trend of movies based on children's fantasy books, and the phenomenon of Harry Potter all illustrate how compelling is the need for magic in our rational world.
Wannamaker states that these materials are popular "because they tap into a need both children and adults have for a contemporary mythology supported by an ethical foundation" , Modem writers use traditional roots to create powerful fantasies that deeply engage their readers. According to Lynne, These books, which usually center around a battle of good versus evil, are of two types.
Some involve modem-day characters in dangerous encounters with the mythological past - and a magic that breaks into their everyday world. In others, entirely new mythologies are created. Lynn , xxv Both types invite the modem child reader into a world influenced by the oral traditions of folk and fairy tale. Children's fantasy exhibit some significant differences from adult fantasy. Novels for children and young adults can usually be distinguished from novels for adults on the superficial level of format: Children's and young adult novels are often but not always shorter and printed in a larger typeface with wider margins.
Some children's novels are illustrated. Most, but not all, human protagonists of children's and young adult novels tend to be young people. Nikolajeva discusses, in The Magic Code, the fact that although several of the best-known fairy tales have child protagonists as well, when looking at the whole cannon of traditional tales this is not the norm , Another common characteristic is that in children's fantasy, like the tradition material before it, there is usually a happy ending Lynn , xxiii. These stories may be child centred, but they are in no way simplistic or what critics would determine as "childish" stories.
Speaking of contemporary fantasy, Nikolajeva notes, "This new form of fantasy makes heavy demands on the reader's intellect, which is probably the reason why so many fantasies published for children are widely read and appreciated by adult readers" , Imaginative fantasies, especially those written for young people over the past four decades, often contain the most serious of underlying themes.
Such themes as the conflict between good and evil, the struggle to preserve joy and hope in a cruel and frightening world, and the acceptance of the inevitability of death have led some critics to suggest that fantasies may portray a truer version of reality than many or most realistic novels. As discussed earlier, fantasy is a very powerful genre.
For children, fantasy has a particular importance and holds a particular fascination. Fantasy's appeal for children is obvious. Marvels and magic abound; detailed, original geographies and invented languages create full-bodied worlds; heroic, even epic, adventures involve the struggle between good and evil; morality is as strong a force as it is in folklore, and addresses the questions of courage, responsibility, personal choice, and the power of love; extravagant play with the common details of daily life and inventive alterations of language extend the boundaries of logic and order, shaping new and imaginative perceptions and providing the release of laughter.
Most fascinating of all, in fantasy there is often something hidden: Fantasy and traditional tales can entice the child reader both emotionally and intellectually. This appeal is not just a modem one. Thome-Thomsen speaks to this attraction in his article. The demand for stories is an expression of the child's desire to leam more of the wonders of the world around, to get at the heart of things, to come into personal, intimate contact with the universe. The fairy-story expresses the unconscious longings, hopes, and stmggles of the child.
It speaks to him in a language he understands; it gives expression to that which he feels but dimly and sees but darkly; through it he catches glimpses of laws governing human life; it interprets his own thoughts to himself; it gives him a perspective of this world and unconsciously influences his actions. Fantasy literature, and traditional tales, can have a profound effect on the child reader.
Yolen states, "a child, more open than an adult, is more changed by [their] reading" , Bettelheim argues that Fairy tales have unequal value because they offer new dimensions to the child's imagination which would be impossible for him to discover as truly on his own. Even more important the form and structure of fairy tales suggest images to the child by which he can structure his daydreams and with them give better direction to his life. Jamieson, in her article in Elsewhere, asserts: While fantasy literature is controversial, opposed by those who do not want children exposed to violence or witchcraft, High Fantasy, in offering adventure and a joumey of self-discovery in a realm that is not real, can provide readers with a combination of psychological insight and distance from the everyday that is fertile for development.
Fantasy can provide a way to look safely at the dangerous. Rockman emphasizes the importance of this value of fantasy for child readers, saying, "One of the best ways for children to tackle the question of evil is through allegory and metaphor. Concepts that are too scary to contemplate in real life can be understood - or at least considered -through fantasy" , And that is what children really want to know: Wil l evil triumph? Folklore and fantasy can often empower the young at a much deeper, more visceral level than other forms of literature.
Academics and fantasists have also assessed the ways in which fantasy and traditional tales can help children on their joumey to adulthood. Yolen comments, " A child who can love the oddities of a fantasy book caimot possibly be xenophobic as an adult" , They can provide a foundation of skills needed to be a successfiil adult, specifically an accomplished adult reader. Lynn makes a similar point: It is logical to presume that an exposure to fairy tales and fantasy as a child will aid the adult in appreciating more sophisticated literature. Indeed, the lack of exposure to imaginative tales as a child may preclude an adult's interest in epic, allegory, and folklore; at the very least it may make a 'suspension of belief difficult to achieve.
The boundaries between adult, young adult and children's fantasy literature are often difficult to determine. When we explore fantasy literature, literary expectations and age-appropriate guidelines blur. Although the heroes, stmcture, and intent remain fixed for the most part, the realm of fantasy with its deliberate substance of mirth and matter is not dictated by age. What has been conventionally termed adolescent invariably appeals to older audiences; what has been traditionally a readership limited to eight or so years invariably is ageless if not timeless.
In "Shaping the Shape of the Future," Perry also considers a marketing phenomenon: However, some books, like the Harry Potter series, can be found in all three sections of a bookstore, though sometimes with different cover art and price. There is a special coimection between adolescents and fantasy literature. In their discussion on modem trends in fantasy, they state: The most noticeable trend within the serious fantasies - and one that links the new Canadian fantasies with those of the protagonists: The move of fantasy into the field of almost young-adult literature allows for the introduction of more complex subject matter.
Traditionally society employed rituals and customs that helped adolescents answer these questions, but contemporary society lacks these rituals. Stories, oral and written, have evolved and been created to provide guidelines to help people cope with milestones in their lives" , 8. In this way, quality young adult fantasy can help adolescents, in particular, on their joumey to adulthood.
In her dissertation, "The Borrowed Cup of Courage," Noel examines the importance of fantasy for adolescents. Such tales of fantasy are important not only as tales of wonder which move the reader into fanciful worlds beyond reality but also as tools for helping adolescents mature intellectually so that they may see more clearly the distinction between childhood and adulthood and know when they have become adults even in a society that has no physical rites or ceremonies to guide them.
As discussed earlier, fantasies often follow the structure of the mono-myth. Saltman touches on this point as well: On the same topic, Altmann states: When new versions of folk tales aren't parodies, they are usually quest stories, like the traditional tales on which they are based.
A quest is a process of initiation, of transition from one stage. The heroes of folk tales are always isolated, separated by difference or distance from their home community. They must survive tests that bring them self-knowledge and prepare them for a new place in society. They also have to be open to the wide, wonder-full world from which unexpected helpers come to their aid. The initiatory scenario of the quest story is likely to have particular resonance for teenagers, who face a number of important transitions all at once. Both traditional tales and fantasy hold appeal for many young adult readers.
Retellings of traditional tales for contemporary adolescents, in the form of fantasy novels, have a particular resonance for these readers. Bettelheim discusses the coimection between adolescents and traditional tales. De Vos points out the link between adolescence and the traditional tale, stating: Both traditional stories folk tales, myths, and legends and the more modem tales urban legends provide essential information for young adults to aid them in making sense of themselves, their world, and their place in that wor ld.
Stories contain universal tmths and are as relevant today as they were when first told. These stories appeal to readers of all ages but have a particular significance for adolescent readers. Chapter 5 - Ballad Novels Ballads and Folklore Ballads, like folktales, are anonymous stories rich with folklore. As a form of literature, ballads are remnants of the oral tradition and have no identifiable author.
The simplest definition of a ballad "is a song that tells a story" Manning-Sanders, They come from traditional culture and were written down for posterity by the early folklorists in the nineteen- century. The best known of these collectors was Child, who published English and Scottish Popular Ballads, a five volume collection published in the s and s. Altmann and de Vos succinctly recapitulate Child's definition of a ballad: The ballads are filled with folkloric motifs that can be traced back even further than the ballad tales themselves.
English and Scottish Balladry. When we study the ballads we are studying not only the poetry of the folk but stylistic representations of belief as well" The ballads are a rich storehouse of folklore that evolves and changes, as does the culture around them and as such they are valuable resources for the writers of Faerie Fantasy and other types of Mythic Fiction. Faerie Ballads One of the assertions that Wimberly repeatedly puts forth is that even those ballads that contain Christian elements have their roots in older, pre-Christian traditions.
Some ballads contain purely human stories but many are centred on supematural beings, including fairies, witches and ghosts. The distinctions among these beings blxir. Along the same lines, the division between the land of the dead and Faerie is also hazy. Like folkloric motifs, ballads are quite wide-ranging. They are not a literary phenomenon limited to the British Isles and are also greatly varied in their content. Ballads from the British Isles, however, do stand out from other ballads in one way. They "are distinguished by the relative prominence of their supematural ballads" Buchan, Among these supematural ballads are the ballads of Faerie.
The stories told in the ballads "portray the otherworld and the otherworld folk and in doing so transmit information about the otherworldly elements of the traditional cosmological picture. They present, for example, the salient characteristics of different kinds of otherworld beings" Buchan, Eleven of the Child Ballads contain elements of Faerie Henderson, Other Faerie Fantasy authors have utilized motifs and themes found in these stories without explicitly retelling the specific ballads.
Ashliman discusses one set of motifs explored in the ballads: The ballad fairies are rarely of the homely or diminutive varieties; rather, they are "repeatedly portrayed as lavishly adorned and accoutred beings. They live in opulent courts, eat sumptuous foods, and dress in equally sumptuous clothes" Henderson, The fairies of the ballads are always alluring and often deadly. The ballads containing Fairylore can be grouped together as the Faerie ballads; "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the Rhymer" are the most famous of these.
Many Faerie motifs discussed in this thesis are contained within the Faerie ballads. The fairies in the ballads are enchantingly beautifial, human size, and often wear green. The popular ethereal winged creature is not found in the ballads. Faerie, as represented in the ballads, is an exquisite place, usually with a subterranean location.
The Teind, or Tithe, to Hell is an important motif In addition to the humans' roles as midwives, changeling children and the offering at the time of the Tithe, the most common role for humans in the Faerie ballads, as in Fairylore as a whole, is lover of a Faerie noble, often the King or Queen. This is the situation in both "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the Rhymer.
Briggs, in her rendition of the tale in The Personnel of Fairyland, illustrates many of these elements. Tam Lin was stolen as a youth and he has gained powers of the fairies by living with them. The ballad also contains the Fairy processional, the white fairy horse, and the Fairy Queen, who is cold and beautiful.
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As a seven-year cycle comes to an end, Tam Lin is afraid that he is to be the sacrifice to Hell. The crossroads and Halloween are spatial and temporal transition points that help Janet rescue her lover , Jacobs also retains most of these motifs in his rendition of this tale, and adds the element of Tam Lin riding widdershins around a fairy mound , as the cause of his capture. Fairy motifs are also abundant in "Thomas the Rhymer. The Queen is beautiful and wears green; Thomas is bound to her through physical contact, a kiss, and is required to serve her for seven years.
On the way to Faerie they cross a river of blood , Briggs is true to all the primary motifs in this tale including one element, fairly unique to this ballad, a description of the three roads: The Queen in this ballad is not as aloof as in most stories; she seems to care for Thomas and lets him go at the end of his seven years. Briggs ties this to the Queen's fear that Thomas will be chosen for the Tithe , In all versions of the story, Thomas is given the gift of "the tongue that never lies", and in most, the fairies come to him on his death bed and take him back to Faerie where he lives still.
Although both novels examined here are historical fiction, these ballads, in other retellings, have also been set in modem times. The stories are rich enough to easily transcend their original settings. It is primarily historical fiction with the Faerie elements intertwined with a very realistic historical setting.
The year is After Isabel's disgrace, Jenny is expected to make a favourable marriage to help her father gain power and prestige. Isabel's story is essentially the narrative of "Lady Isabel and the El f Knighf with the fey elements removed. Isabel falls in love and mns away with a knight in her father's household. Unlike the ballad, in McNaughton's treatment the knight tums out not to be a magical being, but rather an evil human. Isabel takes valuables from her father's house in lieu of her dowry. The knight's plan is to take Isabel firom the safety of her family, ki l l her, and steal her wealth.
There are no supernatural explanations for his actions; he is more of a Bluebeard character than elfin. The cmsades left him without land and conscience. Isabel, realizing the fate her false beloved plans for her, tricks him and he is killed in the manner he had planned for her. Isabel retums home and is not recognized as a heroine for her bravery, but instead is ostracized for running off with a man and stealing from her father.
Her father plans to send her away to a nunnery, but she refuses to confess and so stays at home. Jenny is the offspring of her father's second marriage; imlike her siblings, she is half Scottish. As the second daughter, she is not trained to the station and duty of her elder sister.
Now that her sister is in disgrace, and essentially in mourning, the duties of the Lady-of-the- house fall to Jenny. Her father plans to make a beneficial alliance through her marriage. Although he has been a kindly father by standards of the day, Jeimy's happiness in marriage is not one of his priorities. He is overjoyed when the possibility of Jenny marrying the King's brother is presented. The story of Tam Lin is intertwined with this historically based plot. The two daughters are forbidden from going to Cater Hall, for Tam Lin, the son of the previous owner, has been seen in the area, and is said to be mad.
Jenny is incensed, for Cater Hall is hers; her father gave it to her as her dowry. Jeimy, like Janet of the ballad, is a spirited young woman and she visits Cater Hall despite her father's decree. There she meets Tam Lin, and although she is unsure of him, she is also drawn to him. Over several visits, they fall in love and Jermy becomes pregnant, creating a perilous and complicated situation, as she is about to be betrothed to the King's brother. At first Jenny is flattered by the thought of such a prestigious marriage, but the more she comes to know her prospective groom, the less she wants to marry him.
She armounces her pregnancy at the betrothal ceremony. Although this action does release her from her betrothal, she is considered dishonoured. In the end, through a great act of love and courage, she rescues her lover and her honour is partially restored. McNaughton stays quite true to the story of the ballad in many details and setting. Cater Hall is referred to as Caterhaugh in the ballad, but is Anglicized by McNaughton; regardless of nomenclatures it is still the place that Janet and Tam Lin meet.
The fact that they both have a moral or legal right to it is also part of both McNaughton's treatment and the original ballad. In the ballad, Janet picks roses from the wild garden; Jenny does this as well. In both, the lovers are mutually wary of, and attracted to, each other with pregnancy as the result of their meetings. In the climactic scene, McNaughton's descriptions of the fairies, and Jenny's rescue of Tam Lin are true to the ballad.
McNaughton uses the folklore of the original ballad well. Many people in the story, particularly the Scots, are wary of the fairies. When the minstrel Cospatric comes through the woods, Jenny is surprised because the "woods belong to the fairies" 6 and locals avoid traveling through them. Jermy's nurse Galiene is a Scot and a wise woman; it is through her that Jenny learns much of what she knows of Faerie.
Galiene is respectful, careful, and cautious of the fairies. She told Jermy it might make them angry" Tam Lin also "never spoke the name of these people, as i f the word fairy alone had power" When Jenny's horse is suffering from "Elf-locks" Galiene helps. She instructs Jenny to "[p]ut a silver coin in some water and give that to your mare to drink" After Jenny does this, the knots easily come out of the horse's mane. When this recurs, this time also affecting a stable boy, Galiene is called on again to assist.
She instructs them "to put iron bars in all the stalls" These forms of protection are all found in folklore. When Tam Lin makes dinner for Jenny, she is very cautious, for she knows of the taboo against consuming fairy food or drink. In McNaughton's narrative, as in folklore, fairies differ from humans in many ways. One particular way that is often highlighted is that of emotional difference. In many stories it is said that fairies cannot love as humans do, and this is a mortal strength that can be used against them. When Galiene is preparing Jermy for her rescue of Tam Lin, she states: A love like this is rare, Jeimy, more precious than gold.
It will be your only weapon. Some of us have a bit of magic to work spells, but I have known you since the day of your birth, and a more earthly lass never walked in this world. You have no magic to use against the fairy queen. That is just as well, for our magic would shrivel like grass in a fire before her.
But you have your love to guide you. She is helped by the power of the crossroads, but it is her determination, courage and love that grant Jenny the power to rescue and, literally and metaphorically, keep hold of Tam Lin as he is transformed. These are the qualities and characteristics usually demonstrated by humans that successftilly rescue loved ones from Faerie in folktales.
In the ballad "Tam Lin ," and in this novel, the reader never sees Faerie and only sees the fairies themselves at the climax of the story. The fairies here are of the Heroic, or Trooping, variety. No other types are portrayed. Like most folkloric Faerie animals, Tam Lin's horse is pure white. When Jenny first sees the fairy queen, she is almost overwhelmed: The woman's dress was white, but shot through with the colours of a rainbow. This was no earthly garment. Remembering Galiene's words, Jermy said nothing, but once she had locked eyes with the woman, she found it impossible to look away.
She was the most beautifiil woman Jenny had ever seen, with long, black hair and pale white skin. But, even at this distance, Jenny could see something hard and cruel. Time, in An Earthly Knight, functions as it does in folklore, somewhat unpredictably but with certain recognizable patterns. In general, time passes faster in Faerie: Galiene tells Jermy that "time passes differently in their world" This chronological effect extends from Faerie itself.
After Jenny's first meeting with Tam Lin, she is surprised that time passed so quickly; "Jenny rubbed her eyes as if to chase the sleep from them, but she was really trying to bring the world back in focus. It seemed impossible that so much time had passed" Although time in Faerie seems to be relative, transitory times and days in the human realm are still very important.
This is a common occurrence in folktales about Faerie.
Tam Lin tells Jenny, "Every seven years, the fairies pay a tiend to H e l l. The tiend is to be paid in a week, on Hallowe'en" Transitory times and places are also particularly important to the rescue of Tam Lin. In Fairylore, humans can neither see fairies directly, nor see through their glamour, unless the fairies want them to. The original ballad does not explore this motif, but McNaughton's narrative touches on it. Tam Lin uses his fairy magic to create Jenny a beautiful and enchanted gown.
When she wears it to a fair, a woman exclaims, "what are you doing here, my lady, dressed in cobwebs and old leaves? The woman was a midwife who had assisted the fairies in the past; she developed the sight to see through the magical fairy "glamour" by virtue of the use of fairy ointment: When she came into the hall, the men dipped their hands into some water and touched their eyes, so she did the same, and suddenly, all the finery disappeared.
She could see it was nothing more than old leaves and bits of moss, fairy glamour as they call it. Since then, she claims she can see anything made by the fairies for what it is. In McNaughton's narrative, this particular midwife was lucky; frequently the mortal that uses fairy ointment is blinded in punishment. When the fairies of folklore desire a human to stay with them, they make it very difficult for them to do anything else. Tam Lin describes to Jenny how he came to be with the fairies: I went out hunting one winter's day and fell from my horse.
I hit my head, badly. When I awoke, I was among folk I had never seen before. They cared for me, and I thought all was well, until I tried to retum home. Then I understood these were not earthly folk, and I was in their thrall. They wanted me to stay with them forever. If I give up, they will take me forever" This predicament is true in both the ballad and this novel.
Fairy - Wikipedia
In Fairylore, the majority of humans that retum from Faerie are drastically altered. After Tam Lin is rescued, and his tie to Faerie has been severed, the fairy folk do not let him go readily. The Queen states, "If I had known, Tam Lin, you would betray me, I would have taken out your eyes and put in two of wood" The fairies do not see the fact that they are about to sacrifice him as a betrayal.
Fairies in folklore, particularly the Heroic kind, are powerful beings. They have a variety of abilities. As previously discussed, they can use fairy glamour, change their appearance or even make themselves invisible. As well as hiding themselves, they can move silently. When Tam Lin first approaches Jenny, she is surprised because she had not heard him or his horse. When Tam Lin is injured, he is found and healed by the fairies. During his time in Faerie, he develops many fairy abilities, including that of healing.
When Jenny is injured, he helps her. He states, "I have a talent for healing" Fairy abilities prominent in Fairylore are far from being strictly benevolent. At times, fairies use their abilities malignantly to harm or to play mischievous tricks. Although this ballad does not explore this motif in depth, McNaughton's narrative does. The fairies do not like Jenny's interactions with Tam Lin. They destroy her best dress and knot her horse's mane, and a stable boy's hair, into tangles called "Elf-locks" During the rescue, the fairy shape- changing ability is illustrated.
But suddenly his shoulder was gone. She felt something wet in her hand. It was an esk, a black newt as long as her hand with a crest miming the length of its body She looked to find a black snake with yellow markings, a head shaped like a flat arrowhead and cmel, copper-coloured eyes—a poisonous adder She felt it change and grow into something so large she had to stand with her arms around it. Jenny looked into the face of a bear Suddenly, she was holding a red-hot rod of iron. McNaughton uses her source material effectively.
She successfiilly creates a convincing, essentially realistic historical setting, and then incorporates the folkloric elements of the ballads and Fairylore. She uses both to create an interesting and powerfiil narrative. Her protagonist is a feisty, strong-willed young woman, modelled on those characters in folktales that rescue loved ones from Faerie. The aristocracy of fairyland are the Heroic Fairies who live like the medieval nobility with a court and a king and queen. Typically of human size they hunt, sing, dance and engage in stately processions and revelry.
Those of the Tutelary Type are attached to a human family as helpful diviners or omen bearing sprites.
Changeling Legends from the British Isles
In this group are included the household brownie and the clan banshee. Such beings of this type are often the delicate silkie or brownie in Northumberland, which can become a boggart Briggs, The solitary and small family bands are independent spirits who frequent or haunt particular locations. Examples include the Border country Habetrot or spring fairy, as well as Irish cluricans and leprechauns. The small fairy family type are those who obtain human midwives for their family offspring.
Nature fairies are widespread with the most common in English fairy lore being the water-sprites and the mermaid. The Scots have legends and beliefs in the loch living kelpie as well as the. In the Highlands wanders the wintry blue hag known as the Cailleach Bheur , whilst in northern Britain there is Jenny Greenteeth who haunts stagnant pools Briggs, , in addition to the Scottish fruit protecting Churn-milk Peg and Awd goggie.
Considered also is the guardian of wild animals known as the Brown Man of the Muirs. Such type of creature, boggart or hobgoblin are called according to locally braches, Padfoots, barguests , and brags. Quite often they adopt the form of an animal though they do not possess the ability to shape-shift. In terms of origin fairies are a conflation of many strands and elements of folk beliefs, speculations about natural or hidden species, descendants of former subjugated populations, ancestral spitits and ghost, or fairy tales, myths and legends, literary compilations, as well as fallen angels and demonic creatures.
In other words there is in fairy lore no single origin. A number of theories have been postulated to explain the origin of fairies. Four main theories account for the origin of the belief. The concept may have developed from: Defeated or replaced peoples who prey on the occupiers in night-time raids and hence their supernatural reputations; then 2 degenerated deities of heroes whose stature has been reduced in importance.
The allies of this group are the nature spirits; the 3 personifications of nature spirits originating in animistic beliefs of archaic peoples. The tree spirits and spiritually endowed inanimate objects. Such entities are anthropomorphised water spirits, undines, dryads, hill spirits, and the sidhe of Ireland. This explains the popular allusions to the link between devilish traits of horns, cloven hoofs and shaggy hides and images of nature spirits and folk gods.
The tradition of fairy superstition has no single origin, a number of causes being credited with causality, that include trance, dream states and psychic experiences. In England there survives little belief with the remnants consisting of mythological tales, heroic legends, fairy tales and ancestral echoes Sayce, The existences accredited to fairies are contradictory. Some ascribe their living underwater, others to a subterranean existence, or in sacred groves. There is an ancient and universal belief in the existence of an underworld principle. Howver, opinions as to its origin differ.
Various explanations exist in folklore to explain fairies as the residue of doomed and rebellious angels. The idea of the doomed insurrectionary angel is found in Celtic belief Sikes, ; Keightley, ; Wentz, In Irish mythological tales fairies are referred to as the Tuatha de Danaan. Their origin is assumed to be derived from ancient goddesses, priestesses, nature spirits, nymphs, druidesses, the Fates MacCulloch, making the fairies and the Tuatha the descendants of primordial gods and goddesses.
The idea that fairies are the result of a degradation process from ancient deities is not uncommon Sayce, This is exemplified by the occurrence in goddess origin belief in fairy origin by the specific individuality of these spirits, even their names Hartland, In other words the otherworld social conditions are a reflection of our own. An example can be found in the Irish mythological cycle. The core of the myth is that the Tuatha de Danaan descended from the sky or, more likely, the northern islands.
These Tuatha, the people of the goddess Danu, were defeated by otherworldly beings in battles, with further defeats by the ancestors of the modern Irish. Knowledge of these fairies known as the Tuatha de Danaan is very scant as are their chiefs called the Dagda and Bove Derg. The term originally applied to a fairy fort, mound or palace was sidh, and which over time came to mean a hill. In the folklore of southern and eastern England faeries became known as frairies, feriers, ferishers , or as farises and even Pharisees.
This shows a connection with the sidhe of the Celts Edwards, In Ireland the Daione sidhe were not necessarily diminutive. One fairy type, which was derived from, or even part of the household or ancestral spirits, was the brownie or house fairy. In English folklore the term faeger meant fair and eager or eye thus an allusion to beautiful eyes. Individual fairy names included Miala, Cliodna. The image of these diminutive creatures was the beautiful appearance, golden hairs, benevolence and white apparel.
This contrasts with the industrial and metal smith dwarfs called in Europe the nains, cluricauns, zvorge, draws dvergar, and the bergmanntein. Some elements of folklore have great antiquity and these contributions from all historical periods. It is already established that no particular source can explain the origin of belief in fairies.. It is known there was a regular antagonism between the role of the church and the fairy belief.
The pre-Christian origin of fairy lore is shown by the great antiquity and distribution of fairy tales Sayce, There are many archaic concepts associated with the lore of fairies which include shape-changing and extra-corporeal spirits. A parallel instance can be seen with witches and fairies. The belief in Gyre Carline is a Scottish fairy tradition of the elf-queen as the mother witch.
Fairies, as demoted or denigrated pagan deities may have been worshipped as minor goddesses, nature and tree spirits, as well as nymphs. After the development of Christianity such beings survived, in a reduced state in the folklore beliefs and fairy tales, condemned as evil beings by the church. For some scholars many fairy stories were about real but euhemerised individuals or peoples MacCulloch, The Victorians explained ancient gods and goddesses as metaphors for natural events accepted as literal happenings.
Many references to fairies describe them as personifications of nature and abstract god-like notions. Therefore there was, in ancient Europe, an animistic religious belief coupled with memories of subjugated earth and mound dwellers. This is borne out by the folkloristic concept that fairies disliked the imposed civilisation on their aboriginal culture. Ancestral spirits are generally believed to be. Not only still members of the clan, but also to keep their human characters.
These ghosts in the fullness of time were transmuted from folk memory into other forms. These peoples could either have been earlier inhabitants or immigrants. In time such peoples would have become mythical beings, no longer ghosts, no longer memories, but fairies. The remnants of actual historical populations. For example the incoming metal equipped Celts would have conquered the stone weapon using people. The Neolithic people would have been hostile to their Celtic conquerors. The folk memory of a pre-existing prehistoric people.
Mistakenly believed to live in mounds and barrows, were transmuted into fairies. Therefore the possibility that such remote figures in time no longer seen as ghosts but as fairies. One theory is that fairies are a lurking remnant of primitive tribes and clans. The implication is that fairies were once actual people. Therefore the question arises were fairies and earlier race of people? It is established that the fairy superstition is widespread.
Theoretically it may be that the origins of fairies are to be found with prehistoric peoples forced out my invasions and immigrants. In other words some ancient animistic beliefs would have survived if the invaders did not exterminate the original population Sayce, but placated the encumbent ancient spirits as a policy. Many ancient pagan rituals and sites were Christianised on this basis. There are many tales of migrating dwarfs and elfin creatures due to incursions of others MacCulloch, The resistance came to be regarded as a nation of spirits living in an underground otherworld of burial mounds or somewhere across the sea Silver, There is no evidence that tumuli were once the habitations of earlier populations.
Neither is there for giant Cyclopes being the builders of ancient Mycenae. Some features ascribed to diminutive populations, which resemble those of fairies, do not apply to the Picts who were not a pygmy people. Indications are in fairy-lore, that the belief is the persistence of archaic cults rather than the survival of primitive peoples Briggs, Is the belief in fairies derived from a belief in earlier divinities who themselves in origin were nature spirits who displayed fairy traits?
For the ancient Brythons their later mystical divinities were once fairy beings, fairy kings and queens. Ancient divinities are still remembered in Italy who had fairy-like features exemplified by domestic Roman gods who resembled brownies. The supernatural being called a fairy is probably one of the most well known creatures in folklore and fairy tale. There is evidence to suggest that the characteristics of dwarfish beings and fairies represent an earlier race of people. However, folklore is not a static subject set in stone.
Such a simple and primitive belief in fairies can occur at different times and in different places. Modern perceptions of fairies as diminutive and fragile creatures is the responsibility of William Shakespeare and the Elizabethan poets. The spirits of the air were called sylphs from the Greek word silphe meaning a caterpillar. With regard to elementals it was believed that fairies were an intelligent species distinct from angels and humans Silver, and that elementals were thought by alchemists to be gnomes and sylphs.
The concept that fairies are a component of ancestor cults is common among folklorists. Therefore it is argued that fairies were once ancestral spirits because many beliefs and customs agree with the theory. Ancient peoples held the belief that inanimate things, animals and plants had souls of their own. It is not really clear what the relationship was between these nature spirits and ancestral spirits.