Blank-133x176
A Dictionary Of Fairies
 
by
Katharine Mary Briggs
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Dictionary Of Fairies

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  511 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Perhaps she should have called it "Everything You Wanted to Know about Fairies, but Were Afraid to Ask." This book covers every type of "little people" from abbey lubbers to Young Tam Lin. Not just the tiny, translucent winged pixies of popular art, but brownies, goblins and bogies, even larger creatures like dragons and mermaids. Exhaustive in its coverage, while still en...more
Hardcover, 481 pages
Published 1976 by Viking
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,818)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Maggie Stiefvater
THE definitive place to start on British fairy folklore. Is there anything else to say? I think not. An amazing read.


***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.****
Mike (the Paladin)
This is a wonderful book and if you have any use for a reference book on fairies, folklore etc. then again...wonderful. If you write (as a lot of us here do) this is a treasure trove of information. If I could I'd but a copy.

Unfortunately it's out of print and the least expensive copy I've been able to find is $100 (plus shipping and handling of course). I'll just have to keep my eyes open.

An interesting side note. In the edition I got out the library the illustration pages in the center of the...more
Michael
A wonderful compendium of the folkloric inhabitants of the British Isles.

In addition to entries about the Little People, there are also entries on certain folkloric motifs, such as Shapeshifting and Captives in Fairyland, and on prominent collectors of tales and writers upon the subject.

As well as the usual index and bibliography, the book also has an Index of Types and Motifs, by which folklore tales have been categorised, thus making it easy to compare similarities between stories which someti...more
Eric Orchard
The best source for fairies and strange creatures in literature and popular stories. Incredibly readable and bottomless inspiration.
Matt
This is the only reference book I ever read cover to cover. I'm just saying: THIS IS THE ONLY REFERENCE BOOK I'VE READ COVER TO COVER!!!
Fraser Sherman
Folklore expert Briggs converts her research into a handy guide to British fae: spriggans, daione sidhe, kelpies, knockers, nuckelavee and others, all recorded here. This also covers themes (fairy thefts, virtues valued by fairies), a number of classic folk tales and profiles several prominent folklorists. If this is your sort of thing, you can't go wrong with this one.
Laura
Am absolutely loving this folk-lore compendium. (I will say that a few of the entries that have more to do with faeries abroad than UK faeries I've noticed aren't quite right, but the ones that are more solidly UK-based are great). What fun reading! Wish I had this when I was younger and gobbling up all things fae and fairy.
Caleb
Probably not a great idea to read straight through, given that it is an encyclopedia, and doing so took me forever and lead to a lot of dull passages, but it seems like a pretty good reference work, particularly since it covers folk fairy beliefs, tales and their tellers and collectors, rather than focusing on only one aspect of (mostly British) fairy tradition.

It's out of print now though, so apparently its publisher and/or the book market doesn't think quite so highly of it.
James T Kelly
If you have ever wanted to know anything about fairy folklore, this is the book to read. Briggs leaves no stone unturned, categorising even the most minor fairy, as well as tackling large concepts, other related folklore and literature too. The encyclopedic nature means you can return to it again and again, but if you have any interest in fairies at all I'd be willing to bet you'll read it cover to cover. I did! This book has been absolutely indispensable and one of my best purchases.
Laurel Norton
I've had this book since high school....it's my "go to" reference on all the words for "magical" beings, especially those residing on the British Isles. Fantastic folklore, and the histories of the beliefs. I have always love this book!
Tracey
I read this book as a kid and have kept a copy for reference ever since. It's invaluable for anyone interested in folklore, covering a vast range of entities from gentle to malevolent, from beneficial to deadly.
Meghan
The primer for supernatural creatures.
A great starting place for all things faerie. Just in case you're getting lost in the yelling matches/debates in class over the faerie realms.
Lux
A spectacular starting point for those interested in fairy tales and the origins of folklore. Like others have said, this is one of the only reference books I've read every single page of.
Jewels
Briggs provides anecdotes as well as descriptions of the immense variety of fairies and other mythological characters. Good reference book if you write fantasy or play RPGs.
Kalayna Price
The encyclopedic structure offers only tidbits for each folklore creature and custom listed, but it is a great starting point and the bibliography is invaluable.
John Shelley
This is the most complete reference work on British fairy lore, from a giant of 20th Century folklore research. Essential reading.
Alison Whittington
It's easy to get lost in this book. I use it regularly for inspiration for my fairy tale maps.
S.
As i believed, a must have in your collection if you can get it
Jacqueline Czel
Excellent reference book for fantasy writers!
Hevel Cava
Hevel Cava marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2014
Nicole Williams
Nicole Williams marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2014
Griffin
Griffin marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2014
Amanda
Amanda marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2014
Lydia Walker
Lydia Walker marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
Christina
Christina marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Bookwyrm Jim
Bookwyrm Jim marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Lycanthropic
Lycanthropic marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Ezra
Ezra marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 60 61 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia
  • The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves and Other Little People
  • Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were: Creatures, Places, and People
  • The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries
  • Meeting the Other Crowd
  • The Fairy Bible: The Definitive Guide to the World of Fairies
  • At the Bottom of the Garden: A Dark History of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Nymphs, and Other Troublesome Things
  • The Secret Commonwealth: An Essay of the Nature and Actions of the Subterranean (and, for the Most Part) Invisible People, Heretofore Going under the Name of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies
  • The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
  • The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
  • The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore
  • Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses
  • Encyclopedia of Gods: Over 2, 500 Deities of the World
  • Enchantment of the Faerie Realm: Communicate with Nature Spirits & Elementals
  • A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels
  • The Great Encyclopedia Of Faeries
  • A Witch's Guide To Faery Folk: How to Work With the Elemental World
  • The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales
The Fairies in Tradition and Literature (Routledge Classics) The Vanishing People: Fairy Lore and Legends Abbey Lubbers, Banshees, & Boggarts: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies British Folk Tales and Legends: A Sampler Hobberdy Dick

Share This Book