Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meeting the Other Crowd by Eddie Lenihan

Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden IrelandMeeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland by Eddie Lenihan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame".
~ William Butler Yeats

I'd like to start this review by making it clear how much I absolutely L-O-V-E-D this book!

Meeting the Other Crowd is made up of faerie (Sidhe) stories collected by traditional Irish seanchai, Eddie Lenihan. The stories focus on the interactions between humans and the faeries, and many are not as old as you might expect: Many Sidhe encounters recorded in this book have taken place within the last 100 - 150 years.

This book examines common themes about what faerie contact might mean for a human; why the faeries either seek human contact or do not wish for it; faerie traditions; human superstitions; how the church has influenced the current understanding of the faerie world; and why, with the increasing influences of the modern world, the instances of faerie encounters appear to be dwindling.

Every story in this book held me spellbound: From faerie Kings and Queens, to changelings and the mysterious existence of vessels such as Biddy Early, it was almost impossible to put down. Well-written and easy to understand, I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Irish folk and faerie lore. It is a topic I am eager to learn more about.

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