100 Fairy Books That You Should Read Before You Die | Non-fiction 31-100

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31-100 are in no particular order, alphabetical or otherwise!

31) Bown, Nicola Fairies in Nineteenth-Century Art and Literature (Cambridge: CUP 2001)

Pages: 235

Status: Relatively common (30 dollars?)

Description: A look at fairies from lots of unexpected Victorian angles: e.g. natural history, railways…

32) Doyle, Arthur Conan The Coming of the Fairies (Univeristy of Nebraska 2006) [first published in 1922]

Pages: 196

Status: Free online at Archive

33) Hultkrantz, Åke The Supernatural Owners of Nature: Nordic symposium on the religious conceptions of ruling spirits (genii loci, genii specie) and allied concepts (Uppsala  Almqvist & Wiksell 1961)

Pages: 165

Status: Rare (150 dollars second hand?)

Description: Thirteen essays, seven in English, five in German about nature spirits.

Off-site review: N/A

34) Helliwell, Tanis Summer with the Leprechauns (Llandeilo Cygnus Books 1997)

Pages: 190

Status: Common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: A fictionalized account of a modern attempt to contact leprechauns: New Age content.

35) Watson, Jeanie Risking Enchantment: Coleridge’s Symbolic World of Faery (University of Nebraska Press 1990)

Pages: 235

Status: Rare (30 dollars second-hand?)

Description: ‘Faery’ here is meant in the broader sense, but this is an excellent introduction to Romantic interest in the supernatural.

36) Wood, Christopher Fairies in Victorian Art (Woodbridge: Antique Collectors Club 2008)

Pages: 190

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: The best collection of Victorian fairy art with accompanying commentary.

37) Barker, Cicely Mary The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies (London: Frederick Warne, 1996)

Pages: 190

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: The complete collection of images from one of the most favourite fairy artists.

38) Spence, Lewis British Fairy Origins: The Genesis and Development of Fairy Legends in British Tradition (Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press 1981), first published 1946.

Pages: 207

Status: Common (15 dollars second-hand?)

Description: LS evaluates the various explanations given for fairies concluding that the must be related to the dead.

39) Pike, Signe Faery Tale: One Woman’s Search for Enchantment in a Modern World (New York, Perigree 2010)

Pages: 300

Status: Common (10 dollars second hand?)

Description: SP goes on a personal pilgrimage from the US to Mexico then Britain and Ireland in search of the fairy faith.

Off-site Review: Capricious Reader

40) Westwood, Jennifer and Jacqueline Simpson The Lore of the Land: A Guide to English Legends from Spring-Heeled jack to the Witches of Warboys (London: Penguin 2005)

Pages: 915

Status: Quite Common (20 dollars second-hand?)

Description: A massive 1000-page guide to English superstitions, region by region. Fairies are, of course, frequently featured.

41) Knight, Gareth Melusine of Lusignan & The Cult of the Faery Woman (Lincoln: R.J.Stewart 2010)

Pages: 124

Status: Quite common (20 dollars)

Description: An occult dissection of the Melusine myth.

Off-site Review: Daniel Staniforth

42) Wade, James Fairies in Medieval Romance (New York: Palgrave and Macmillan 2011)

Pages: 212

Status: Rare (40 dollars used?)

Description: Four indepth studies of medieval fairy belief including a fascinating chapter on Arthur and fairy.

43) Lecouteux, Claude Phantom Armies of the Nigh: The Wild Hunt and the Ghostly Processions of the Undead (Rochester: Inner Traditions 2011)

Pages: 300

Status: Common (ten dollars used?)

Description: A transversal look at the tradition of the wild hunt across the sky: few direct fairy references but the wild hunt and fairies have long been connected in Britain particularly.

44) McHargue, Georgess The Impossible People: A History Natural and Unnatural of Beings Terrible and Wonderful (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1972)

Pages: 169

Status: Common (ten dollars used?)

Description: Like a children’s book for adults, very friendly if unambitious introduction.

45) Latham, M.W. The Elizabethen Fairies (Columbia University Press, 1931)

Pages: 330

Status: Rare (100 dollars used?). Or free at digitalcase 

Description: Learned analysis of fairies in Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

46) Moorey, Teresa The Fairy Bible (London: Godsfield 2008)

Pages: 400

Status: Very Common (5 dollars second hand?)

Description: New Agey reference guide to fairies.

47) van Gelder, Dora The Real World of Fairies: A true first person account (Wheaton, Theosophical Publishing: 1977)

Pages: 120

Status: Common (5 dollars used?)

Description: The most accessible of the theosophical accounts of fairies.

48) James, Catrin Celtic Faery Shamanism (Chieveley: Cappel Bann Publishing 1998)

Pages: 194

Status: Common (10 dollars used?)

Description: A series of accounts and visualizations describing contact with fairies.

49) Gardner, Edward L. Pictures of Fairies: The Cottingley Photographs (Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House 1966)

Pages: 53

Status: Quite common (20 dollars second-hand?)

Description: The case for the defence in 1966!

50) Mac Manus, Dermot The Middle Kingdom: The Faerie World of Ireland (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1973)

Pages: 191

Status: Rare (30 dollars second-hand?)

Description: One of the best descriptions of fairy life in Ireland by a traditional believer.

51) Coghlan, Ronan Handbook of Fairies (Chievely: Capall Bann 1998)

Pages: 171

Status: Very common (5 dollars)

Description: An index of different fairy types.

52) Maas, Jeremy et alii, Victorian Fairy Painting (London: Royal Academy of Art 1997)

Pages: 160

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?

Description: many Victorian fairy paintings but also essays on different aspects of Victorian fairy culture. There are particularly strong pieces on fairy theatre.

53) Arrowsmith, Nancy Field Guide to the Little People (Woodbury: Llewellyn 2009) [first published 1977]

Pages: 297

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Perhaps the best encylopedic reference guide to fairies.

54) Lenihan, Edmund In Search of Biddy Early (Dublin, Mercier Press 1987)

Pages: 114

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Biddy Early was the most famous nineteenth-century fairy doctor from Ireland: her history is hopelessly twined together with legend.

55) Jones, Edmund The Appearance of Evil: Apparitions of Spirits in Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press 2003)

Pages: 164

Status: Common (15 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Most of Edmund Jones’ work on supernatural beings from eighteenth-century Wales: though he rarely refers to ‘fairies’ some of the creatures he describes seem to correspond to the Tlwyth Teg.

56) Duffy, Maureen The Erotic World of Faery (London, Hodder and Stoughton 1972)

Pages: 401

Status: Very common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Faeries read in a Freudian key!

Off-site review: Good Reads

57) MacRitchie, David The testimony of tradition (London: Trübner & Co. 1890)

Pages: 205

Status: Free online at Archive,

Description: MacRitchie argues that ‘fairies’ were actually an earlier human race.

58) Pócs, Éva Fairies and witches at the boundary of south-eastern and central Europe (Helsinki : Suomalainen tiedeakatemia, 1989)

Pages: 95

Status: Ultra rare: sold for over 1000 pounds on Amazon.co.uk! About ten pounds a side!

Description: I’ve not yet been able to read this book, but its reputation goes before it.

59) Trubshaw, Robert (ed) Explore Phantom Black Dogs (Loughborough: Heart of Albion Press, 2005)

Pages: 160

Status: Cheap (10 dollars?)

Description: The most wide-ranging study of the black dog since Theo Brown’s celebrated article with essays by many important fairyists including Trubshaw and Harte.

60) McEwan, Graham Mystery Animals of Britain and Ireland (Robert Hale Ltd 1986)

Pages: 240

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand)

Description: A cryptozoological approach to several fairy-like creatures.

61) Haining, Peter The Irish Leprechaun’s Kingdom (London: Granada, 1981)

Pages: 128

Status: Common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Cute catalogue of some of the most popular Irish supernatural creatures and some others added in for fun (werewolves etc).

62) AnonThe Otherworld: Music & Song from Irish Tradition (Dublin, UCD 2012)

Pages: 155 and two cds!

Status: Rare (30 dollars?)

Description: collecton of fairy music on two discs with extensive notes.

63) Westwood, Jennifer Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain (London: Grafton 1987) [first published 1985]

Pages: 570

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand)

Description: An encyclopedia to British supernatural locations: now somewhat superseded by Lore of the Land by the same author.

64) Bourke, Angela The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story (London: Pimlico 1999)

Pages: 240

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand)

Description: An Irish scholar’s exploration of the Bridget Cleary killing.

65) Thomas, Keith Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England (London: Penguin, 1972)

Pages: 849

Status: Common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Thomas gives only ten pages to fairies (724-734), but given the influence of this book…

66) Sumpter, Caroline The Victorian Press and the Fairy Tale (London Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

Pages: 272

Status: Quite common (20 dollars second-hand)

Description: The use of fairy tales for unlikely ends (socialism! evolution!) in Victorian newspapers.

67) Zipes, Jack The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films (London: Routledge, 2011)

Pages: 456

Status: Rare (40 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Looking at fairies and fairy tales in film, most interesting for the early phase: as always with Zipes more fairy-tales than fairies.

Off-site Review: surlalune

68) Lenihan, Eddie and Carolyn Eve Green Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland (New York: Penguin 2004)

Pages: 330

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Are these fictional stories or memories? Perhaps a bit of both. What is certain is that they are terrifying!

69) Andrews, Elizabeth Faeries & Folklore of the British Isles (Moreton in Marsh: Arris Publishing, 2006)

Pages: 148

Status: Common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Dictionary of faeries with luscious illustrations.

Offsite Review: Good Reads

70) Griffiths, Frances Reflections on the Cottingley Fairies (Belfast, JMJ Publications 2009)

Pages: 117

Status: Rare (40 dollars second hand?)

Description: Frances speaks about the Cottingley experience: the text was put together with extra material from her daughter.

71) Anderson, Cora Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition (Portland, Harpy Books 1994)

Pages: 64

Status: Common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: An unusual pagan perspective on fairies.

72) Maclaren, Achibald The fairy family; a series of ballads & metrical tales illustrating the fairy mythology of Europe (London, Macmillan & Co 1874)

Pages: 247

Status: Free online at Archive, http://archive.org/details/fairyfamilyaser01maclgoog

Description: Fairy traditions from Sicily to Scandinavia.

73) Rankine, David The Book of Treasure Spirits (London: Avalonia, 2009)

Pages: 182

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: edited seventeenth-century texts that refer to fairies, demons and other supernatural creatures.

74) Jolly, Karen Louise Popular Religion in Late Saxon England: Elf Charms in Context (Chapel Hill: the University of North Carolina Press, 2009)

Pages: 251

Status:  Quite common (20 dollars second-hand)

Description: More context than elves (for which Hall is better), but useful.

75) Nutt, Alfred The Fairy Mythology of Shakespeare (London: D. Nutt, 1900)

Pages 40

Status: Free online, at the Archive

Description: Brief analysis of the fairies of, above all, Midsummer Night’s Dream.

76) Benwell, Gwen and Arthur Waugh Sea Enchantress: The Tale of the Mermaid and Her Kin (London: Hutchinson & Co 1961)

Pages: 287

Status: Rare (100 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Fifty years later still the best mermaid book.

77) Ritson, Joseph Fairy tales, now first collected: to which are prefixed two dissertations: 1. On pygmies. 2. On Fairies (London: Payne and Foss 1831)

Pages: 207

Status: Free on Archive.com http://archive.org/details/fairytalesnowfi00unkngoog

Description: A fascinating early study of fairylore, particularly in as much as it anticipated MacRitchie’s ‘earlier race’ thesis.

78) Zipes, Jack Victorian Fairy Tales: The Revolt of the Fairies and Elves (London Routledge 1989)

Pages: 416

Status: Quite common (20 dollars second-hand?)

Description: A seminal work but more to do with fairy tales than with fairies.

79) Keightley, Thomas The Fairy Mythology illustrative of the romance and superstition of various countries (London: G.Bell, 1892)

Pages: 560

Status: Free pdf on Archive.

Description: An influentian collection of fairy tales from around the world.

80) Levy, Joel Fabulous Creatures and Other Magical Beings (London: Carroll & Brown 2006)

Pages: 224

Status: Common (5 dollars second hand?)

Description: Casts its net wide, but  witty book.

81) Rieti, Barbara Strange terrain: The fairy world in Newfoundland (ISER 1991)

Pages: 273

Status: Rare (60 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Gaelic-fairylore in the New World.

82) Hufford, David J. The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Traditions (Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 1982)

Pages: 280

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Fascinating look at the traditional belief that a witch or dwarf or fairy attacks a sleeper: particularly interesting for Hufford’s methodology for dealing with Fortean material.

Off-site Review: Edmund Siderius; Strange History

83) Croker, Thomas Crofton Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Irelandi,  I-III, (London: John Murray 1825-1828)

Pages: c, 1000 pages

Status: Best read on site: fairyist

Description: These three volumes mark the first large British or Irish collection of fairy tales, which influenced all later fairy collections. The third volume has extensive Welsh and some English and Scottish material.

84) Buccola, Regina Fairies, Fracitious Women, and the Old Faith: Fairy Lore in Early Modern British Drama and Culture (Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press, 2006)

Pages: 292

Status: Rare (50 dollars second-hand?)

Description:Three essays on Shakespeare plays and one on Johnson’s the Alchemist.

85) Hodson, Geoffrey Fairies at Work and Play (Wheaton, Theosophical Publishing House 1982)

Pages: 126

Status: Common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: The first detailed theosophical description of fairies, very accessible.

86) Paton, Lucy Allen Studies in the fairy mythology of Arthurian romance (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1903)

Pages: 288

Status: Free at Archive, http://archive.org/details/cu31924072606621

Description: Victorian fairylore applied to Arthurian legend.

87) Newell, Martin Black Shuck: The Ghost Dog of Eastern England (Jardine Press 1999)

Pages: 24

Status: Common (10 dollars?)

Description: Very short summary of the East Anglian fairy dog.

88) Rose, Carol Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns and Goblins: An Encylopedia (New York: Norton, 1996)

Pages: 370

Status: Common (5 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Wide-ranging encyclopedia of the fairy folk.

89)Bell, William Shakespeare’s Puck (London: C.Richards, 1882)

Pages: 330

Status: Free online at Archive

Description: Early study of Puck with attempts to link him to other European traditions.

90) Varner, Gary V. The Folklore Of Faeries, Elves & Little People – A Study In A Cultural Phenomenon (Lulu 2012)

Pages: 120

Status: Common (10 dollars?)

Description: An ambitious cross-cultural, cross-continental study of fairies.

91) Sidgwick, Frank The sources and analogues of A Midsummer-night’s dream (New York, Duffield 1908)

Pages: 196

Status: Free online at Archive http://archive.org/details/sourcesanalogues00sidg

Description: Edwardian examination of the Dream and its background.

92) Macgregor, Alexander Highland Superstitions: Connected with the Druids, Fairies, Witchcraft, Second-sight, and Hallowe’en (Stirling: Eneas Mackay, 1901)

Pages: 62

Status: Free online at Archive

Description: Overview of northern fairylore as connected with witchcraft.

93) Scott, W., Letters of Demonology and Witchcraft (London: J. Murray 1840)

Pages: 396

Status: Free online at Archive

Description: Letter V and letter VI particularly have extensive fairylore.

94) Morton, H.F. All About Boggarts (York: Skewbalk Press, 1993)

Pages: 53

Status: Rare (70 dollars??, if you can find it!)

Description: A Mancunion engineer wrote, in the 1950s, eight boggart stories for a little girl, a rare mine of Lancashire boggart lore at a period when no one bothered to write this material down.

Off-site review: Strange History http://www.strangehistory.net/2013/08/05/h-f-morton-and-boggarts/

95) Charters, Daphne Forty Years with the Fairies: Volume One of Daphne Charter’s Collected Fairy Manuscripts (Arcata: R.J.Stewart 2008)

Pages: 324

Status:  Common (15 dollars second hand?)

Description: The most detailed and perhaps the most bizarre of theosophical fairy accounts.

96) Lysaght, Patricia The Banshee: the Irish Supernatural Death Messenger (Dublin: Glendale Press 1986) [note that there is also a pocket version!]

Pages: 432

Status: Common (15 dollars second-hand)

Description: The classic and extremely detailed guide to the Banshee.

Off-site Reviews: Good Reads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/867304.The_Banshee

97) Briggs, Katharine Abbey Lubbers, Banshees & Boggarts: A Who’s Who of Fairies (Harmondsworth: Kestrel 1979)

Pages: 158

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand)

Description: A paired down version of the Encylopedia though, in some places, with longer entries.

98) Hoff, Joan and Marian Yeates The Cooper’s Wife is Missing: The Trials of Bridget Cleary (New York: Basic Books, 2000)

Pages: 458

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: Well-researched book, with more data than Bourke, on the Cleary changeling killing.

99) Anon, Our Faerie Best: from the Pages of Fate Magazine (Lakeville: Galde Press, 2007)

Pages: 220

Status: Quite common (15 dollars second-hand?)

Description: A little known collection of fairy essays from Fate Magazine. New Age, pagan and Fortean content.

100) Billingsley, John West Yorkshire Folk Tales (Stroud: History Press 2010)

Pages: 190

Status: Common (10 dollars second-hand?)

Description: A unique take on the traditonal tale, watch out for the land rover and the well dressed man.

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