Seeing Fairies: From the Lost Archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, Authentic Reports of Fairies in Modern Times (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/7/4
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THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN'S BOOK.
Its accounts of fairy experiences, mostly from the twentieth century, have come from business men and women, housewives, journalists, clergymen, bus drivers, anglers, gypsies, school teachers, university professors, soldiers, artists, authors, poets, musicians, sculptors, actresses, and many others who have seen fairies of various types in houses, churches, and sheds; in gardens, fields, woods, country lanes, and public parks; on moors, hills, and mountains; and even on sewing machines, typewriters, and kitchen stoves.
In 1950 Marjorie T. Johnson became Honorary Secretary of a resurrected Fairy Investigation Society, which had been founded by Capt. Quentin C. A. Craufurd, and she collected accounts of fairies and also angelic beings from many of the members.
In 1955 the Scottish author and folklorist Alasdair Alpin MacGregor collaborated with her in sending letters to the national press asking for further true experiences, and many more were received.
The result is this book, published here in English for the first time. Marjorie Johnson's only request was that readers peruse the book with an open mind.
"THIS BOOK IS SPECIAL because it brings together an unprecedented number of fairy sightings... There are here about four hundred sightings from around the world. In short, this is the biggest single collection of fairy experiences ever amassed... Whether fairies are out there (author points to wood, hedgerow, and waterfall) or in there (author points to balding head of middle-aged 'witness') then they need to be explained. Marjorie gave us, in these pages, the tools to do just that." - from the Introduction by Simon Young
Several aspects are near constants with these encounters, usually random, often interactive and frequently accompanied by a haunting musical strain in the environment. This musical aspect in these accounts was a feature of the phenomena I was not previously aware of. These reports are captivating and charming in their high strangeness, but at the same time smugly matter of fact in the reporting. The accounts by those who possess a predisposition to belief in these creatures, theosophists and Spiritualists among them, are among the least credible reports in the book. They smack of the maudlin and precious in their eagerness to validate a certain world view.
The overwhelming number of anecdotes herein is not conducive to lengthy reading at a sitting, but rather savoring the stories in a leisurely manner releases their charm and nuance. For those wishing to build a decent beginning library on fortean fairy lore, this volume along with the seminal 'Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries' by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Dermot MacManus' delightful 'Middle Kingdom: Faerie World of Ireland' and Janet Bord's 'Fairies: Real Encounters with Little People' makes for a solid foundation and hours of great reading. Highly recommended.