Though quite old, this article on the British Library, ‘Are you afraid of fairies? You should be’, is pretty marvellous. I have to admit, I like my fairies dark. (Holly Black, I’m looking at you. I still remember the first time I read Tithe (2002) and it had a very formative effect).
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Oh this is very interesting. I am a fan of the fairy ballad. There are echoes of Keats’s ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ here. She is a wild and wanton fairy temptress too. Of course in English literature we have Coleridge’s ballad Christabel and Keats’s Lamia – both are about vampire women in the tradition on Lilith or are monstrous hybrids. I like the fairy ones however. My favourite fairies are in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which of course is in an intertextual relationship to Julia Kagawa’s ‘Iron King’. I hope to post on Puck as a character in literature and folklore at some point.
I had a thought about Bella’s defensive power and pacifism that I keep meaning to post about. Oh, and a general perusal through my childhood as a bibliophile. (Unpacking all my books has had this effect on me). I didn’t realise how much I loved fairies until I re-discovered them in my teenage years. I keep trying to convince my young man that he is a changeling. I swear I see the supernatural everywhere nowadays. Pre-Raphaelites, fairies, and the fey are definitely an inspiration for the wedding.
oh lovely they are all combined to brilliant effect in ‘Goblin Market’ -Did you read Anne of Green Gables as a child by any chance? She was obsessed with ‘The Lady of Shallot’!!
My mum says she read ‘Goblin Market’ to me at far too vulnerable age and it has affected me ever since. I remember re-reading it when I was little older and asking if she hoped that I would miss the obvious sexual subtext. I never read Anne of Green Gables – more Pippi Longstockings – but I do love ‘The Lady of Shallot’ and if there is ever a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition then I am there.
I share this love of fairies, too, particularly the dark ones of the brilliant Holly Black–and Kagawa and Melissa Marr as close contenders. There are a few other good YA ones as well, changeling stories featuring heavily.
‘Goblin Market’ is fabulously, erotically sinister (as are Keats and Coleridge).
To my shame, I have never read Anne of Green gables!
I loved those books I wanted to live in Canada and be an orphan so I could be Anne. She is something of a quixote and a fiery red head. She is always self dramatising and being tragic and she decides to renact ‘The Lady of Shallott’ and floats down stream only to be rescued by her arch rival and love interest Gilbert Blyth. She is always quoting Victorian poetry and looks like a pre-raphaelite. It is classic.
Well now I want to read it!