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Old Faery Narratives of Britain and Ireland

  • 10/10/2023
  • 19:00-20:30
  • Online talk

Old Faery Narratives of Britain and Ireland

A Folklore Society Online Talk

by Rosalind Kerven

Tuesday 10 October 2023, 19:00 BST

Discover the intriguing, formidable faeries of old British and Irish folk narratives.

Split between numerous local species, ranging from full-sized Scottish elf-queens to small, wizened male house fairies, they share a number of common characteristics. All are immortal, with supernatural powers that include vanishing, shape-shifting and creating illusions. They are typically capricious, dangerous and vengeful, though may display benevolence so long as great care is taken not to offend them by breaking their curious protocols. They have an alarming taste for abducting both children and adults, who they then manipulate for their own dubious uses. Though some can fly, they do not have wings, but levitate by mounting twigs, bundles of grass or plant stems, wearing a special cap or uttering a set of potent words.

Based on Rosalind’s research for her popular book, Faeries, Elves & Goblins: The Old Stories, the talk will explore the great themes of faery folklore including: claimed sightings of faeries by rational adults through the centuries; callous and dangerous faery queens; domestic faeries such as hobs, brownies and boggarts; changelings and how to outwit them; the abduction of mortals into Faeryland for purposes such as midwifery and breeding; marriage between humans and faeries; faery wishes; faery manipulations of time; spells to conjure up, avoid and banish faeries – and much more.

Also live storytelling of an iconic faery narrative, Scotland’s Tam Lin, which tells of a courageous young woman who battles shape-shifting magic to rescue a man enslaved by a faery queen.

“Rosalind Kerven, connoisseur of myths and legends” – The Independent

An independent scholar, Rosalind has been working with world myths, legends and folktales for over 40 years, and most of her 70+ books published in 22 countries are in that genre. Her collections of traditional narratives for adults, meticulously researched from the oldest archives, have been highly praised by reviewers in The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, Grammarye and the FLS’s own journal, Folklore.

An experienced and lucid speaker, she has previously contributed papers to a number of Folklore Society events both in person and online, and has developed oral storytelling skills through the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. Her website is: workingwithmythsandfairytales.blogspot.com

Tickets £6.00 (£4.00 for Folklore Society members with Promo Code: log in to the Members area to get the Promo Code): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/old-faery-narratives-of-britain-and-ireland-tickets-649414625627?

Every ticket sold helps to support the work of The Folklore Society