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. 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.
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