27 January 2007

Finding Faeries in History

We storytellers have lots of choices when it comes to picking faery lore. Depending on when and where the story is set, the Fae World can differ drastically: Norse, Irish, Scottish, Bavarian, French . . . each pre-Christian region and era developed its own belief system. Faery lore has only one universal truth: Tinkerbell is an invention of Disney.

I found several sites that helped tremendously when I was building my world for Faery Special Romances, my May release. Maybe you will find these sites useful, too.

Here's one of my favorite starting-off sites, Faerie Central. Not only is there an image gallery and links to other great sites, you can also find brief essays on these topics:
  • Existence of faeries
  • Definition of faeries
  • Description of faeries
  • Faeries across history and cultures
  • Organization of faeries
. . . well, you get the picture. Lots of info (although not indepth) on this site. You can even buy a magic wand!

Here's a faery good site, but I have no idea who runs it. You'll find a terrific recap of general Fae history, and then links to other pages, which get more specific. For instance, there's a listing of the various types of faeries, from Pixies to Goblins, and a couple pages of Faery Herbs and Charms. Browse around and you'll find all kinds of good stuff.

For instance, you could find out (like I just did) that faeries didn't get wings until the Elizabethan Period. Oh well, my medieval faeries have wings. I made them up so I can give them wings if I want to. (That's what's so great about being a writer--your story is the only thing on the planet you can actually control!)

The Faery Crossing is a bit difficult to navigate, although beautiful, and can give you pointers on such things as "The Care and Feeding of Faeries." You might want to head straight for A Compendium of Faery Folke, where you'll find very nice listing of all types of Fae from A to Z. Here's a sample: "Gean-canach: Ireland. "Love-Talker"; a solitary faery who personifies love and idleness. He appears with a dudeen (pipe) in his mouth. It is very unlucky to meet him."

When I was first building my faery world, I soon came to realize that many of the internet sites combine the old mytholgies with the new. Even though the new are based on the myths of, say, the Tuatha de Danann, be aware of modern influences.

I hope you have a faery good time surfing the 'net! If you find some good sites, please let me know!

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Keely's Faery Good Advice blog
Faery Special Romances (May 2007)


Marjorie Jones said...

How interesting about the wings, Jacqui. I didn't know that. I adore Faeries. *clapping hands* I do beleive in faeries, I do believe in faeries!


Jacquie said...

Yep, I'd looked at that website, too, but it didn't sink in that I had one story set before the Elizabethan era. My stories begin in 1199 and end contemporary--what's a poor writer to do amidst changing mythologies??? Seriously, I wanted to use the same world and same rules for all my stories, so the medieval faeries got to keep their wings. I can assure you they were delighted. :)


PennyAsh1 said...

Gah, I hate Tinkerbell lol makes me want to get out the bug zapper. I like my fairies with a lot more substance to them. I'm Irish descent and we're supposed to have fairy blood so I've been studying this stuff for more than 30 years. One thing I'd like to see more of is the fact that even the nice fairies aren't all that sweet. And I'd like to see less Disney-fied fairies

Delia DeLeest said...

When I was little, I wanted to be a faery when I grew up. Since that didn't happen (bad grade on the SAT's, couldn't get into my Fae college of choice), I'll check out these sites instead. Thanks!

Fairies And Things said...

great sites, thanks! TheFaeryCrossing.com is just beautiful!