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A Field Guide to the Little People

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  143 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In high summer meadows, nestled in the moors, near old castles, or behind the kitchen stove--these are the places where the Little People may be found. Make the acquaintance of White Ladies and Red Caps, Church Grims and Hobgoblins, English Fairies, Leprechauns, Sirens, Hey-Hey Men, and all of their strange and mythical kin. Become wise in the ways of these magical creatur ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published November 1st 1978 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 329)
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mark monday
i began reading for pleasure in the 4th grade. at that point, it was less about reading a novel from beginning to end and more about discovering new worlds to live in. i rarely completed a book - i usually read just enough to get the sense of a different place and time, and then used that as a template for my own imaginative travels... things to think on and wonder about as i roamed around the woods of south bend, indiana; as i rode my bike about with my pet toad perched atop my head; as i sat m ...more
Feb 21, 2016 Manybooks rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults interested in folklore, but with a major caveat
I really do not know exactly what to make of this book (or how to rate it). The information about the various types of "Little People" is informative and of interest to anyone who enjoys folklore and folk tales (the detailed bibliography at the back is wonderful as well). However, the fact that Nancy Arrowsmith actually seems to believe in the existence of these creatures is, or at least can be, a trifle disconcerting. Now I am not going to categorically claim that mythical beings, that the "Lit ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Donna rated it it was amazing
A little about this book: it was originally released in the 70s and then went out of print. Thankfully for it, it developed a huge cult following which then led to its most recent reprinting. Apparently this book was highly sought after for years and those with copies held onto them for dear life (I have a few books like that). After reading it, it's painfully clear why.

There are many, many different types of Little People in this book and while the descriptions are not overly wrought or extensi
Apr 07, 2008 Tessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic
As a pseudo-scientific guide to elves, this was, as expected, thoroughly entertaining and creepy in the style of the Bros. Grimm, especially with illustrations. And I learned the following (among other things):
1. don't trust short men wearing red caps
2. don't trust women who wear their breasts over their shoulders.
3. Welsh water women "can only be told from humans by their unearthly beauty and their inability to count beyond five."
Nov 11, 2008 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy, folklore-misc
A nice little guide and not sugar coated.
May 02, 2013 Adam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In the bookstore, this looked to be a fun read, but not unlike the Little People themselves, its initial appearance was deceiving. Arrowsmith appears to be a fine scholar — the bibliography shows that she mined numerous sources for the entries in this book — but she's not much of a writer.

The primary problems with the book are organizational. The Little People are grouped into the (seemingly rather arbitrary) categories of Light, Dark and Dusky elves, but beyond that there is no discernible rhy
Apr 24, 2012 Kascha rated it it was amazing
This is just the cutest little book, full of amazing creatures and beings and their histories and anecdotes.

It is very thorough and catalogues fairy tales and legendary creatures from many different lands and folk legends the world over, many of course in Europe. I think my favorite part of the book has to be the artistic depictions of the creatures. There aren't pictures for every creature, but there are for many, and they are done in several different styles from full on penciled scenes and de
Jorge Andrade
Jul 29, 2010 Jorge Andrade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esta obra, como su titulo reza, es una guia que describe una gran cantidad de criaturas élficas. Nos entrega detalles como personalidad, apariencia, habitat acompañados por diversos relatos en los que se manifiestan dichas características. Nos indica además como obtener o lograr de alguna forma la amistad con estos seres con tal de beneficiarnos, generalmente en forma de oro en abundancia o ayudando en los quehaceres del hogar. También nos entrega la forma de aplacar su ira cuando no hemos sido ...more
David Brooks
Feb 16, 2016 David Brooks rated it really liked it
I've had the pleasure of reading through this book many times. It does a great job of sticking with the concept of a real field guide and even brings in historical references to many of the creatures involved. In addition you get wonderful short folk tales of many of the little people mentioned, which adds a wonderful layer onto this field guide. For those with the interest in folk-lore, mythology, or cryptozoology this is a must read.
Sep 18, 2007 Inara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in fairies
Title in English:
A Field Guide to the Little People

In this book Nancy Arrowsmith describes the world of the Little People and their tradition in fairytales, legends, myths and poetry throughout Europe. She classifies the fairies as light, dark and dusky elves and tells about their attributes, geographical extension and their different habits. To every spirit of nature there is a general introduction, a detailed description of their characteristics, their extension and a short story. On every pag
Georgie Hacon
Aug 18, 2014 Georgie Hacon rated it liked it
Intriguing 'little' book...Tells of all sorts and types of the little people, with Arrowsmith grouping them all into 3 Elves; Light, Dark and Dusky. Includes names and description, identification, habitat and even stories and lore on almost every one mentioned. Can be taken by some as more of a 'fairy-tale book', but to some, they are very real.
Rowan Ilsley
Apr 06, 2013 Rowan Ilsley rated it really liked it
I came across this reading material after looking in the bibliography of one of my favourite reads: "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You." I found it enchanting yet informative. The debate about the existance of these "Little People" is a fascinating subject to me and although I feel that, in this novel, the disappearances of these magical beasts is all too convenient, the illustrations are unique and the structure is in a very positive format for me; as it makes ...more
Mar 08, 2010 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairies
The #1 thing I have to say about this book is that it would be a wonderful resource for writers, especially fantasy writers. It is a reference book with tons of types and subtypes of fairies and fairylike beings. Some of the beings described are well known, while others are particular kinds of spirits only known in certain regions. I didn't know about many of them, so it's fascinating to find out about unfamiliar fae personalities.

I haven't read every page, but it is a good source for this kind
Oct 11, 2013 Csenge rated it really liked it
I appreciated this little volume over a lot of other "fairy encyclopedias" mostly because it contains both information and actual stories. As a storyteller, I like this setup. On the other hand, it would have been great to be able to connect the extensive list of sources in the end to the chapters in the book. With all that said, it is a great collection, and talks about a lot less well known fairy creatures. The categories they are filed under are a little random, but they don't really affect t ...more
Mar 07, 2013 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If you are into Elves, Hobgoblins, Faeries, and more, then this book is perfect for you. Especially if you desire to know more about those creatures, or how you can try to protect yourself when they are near, or how you should treat them.

I found the information in this book, to be, in my opinion thorough. The lore of the creatures discussed in this book was fascinating. It's in general, a very good book.

Laura Cowan
Oct 14, 2012 Laura Cowan rated it really liked it
What a strange but useful find on my local library's free book shelf! This book includes definitions and associated fairy tales about each kind of little person, categorized by light elves, dark elves, and dusky elves. Largely based on Welsh and English faerie lore with some other Northern and Southern European definitions and names included as well.
Regina Hunter
May 29, 2012 Regina Hunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one of amazing books about Fairy and Fairy folk. It seems Fairies and elves now put a large claim on other species of supernatural, as do vampire books claim some of the demons to be of their own kind.
Rachel (Sfogs)
Jan 12, 2013 Rachel (Sfogs) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, library
I just love reading about mythological creatures, so a field guide full of information and small stories?! Yipee!!
Fredrick Danysh
A descriptive book about gnomes. It describes these mythical creatures and their culture.
Caw Miller
May 19, 2013 Caw Miller rated it really liked it
Still the best guide to the real faeries, absent of the fiction of modern times.
An entertaining collection of folklore.
Nino Danonino
Nino Danonino marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2016
Ashley marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2016
Sophia Reyes
Sophia Reyes rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2016
Hillary rated it it was ok
Mar 24, 2016
Jamie marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2016
Rosa marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2016
Rebekkane marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2016
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Nancy Arrowsmith was born in Oxford, England, in 1950 of American parents. She has travelled widely in the United States, India, and Europe. A Field Guide to the Little People was her first book. Also is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Kraut & Rüben, Germany’s first organic gardening magazine. She also founded the international seed organization Arche Noah, with the mission to preser ...more
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