Children into Swans: Fairy Tales and the Pagan Imagination by Jan Beveridge

By Jan Beveridge

Fairy stories are alive with the supernatural - elves, dwarfs, fairies, giants, and trolls, in addition to witches with magic wands and sorcerers who forged spells and enchantments. little ones into Swans examines those motifs in various old tales. relocating from the wealthy interval of nineteenth-century fairy stories again so far as the earliest folks literature of northern Europe, Jan Beveridge exhibits how lengthy those supernatural positive aspects were part of storytelling, with old stories, many from Celtic and Norse mythology, that supply glimpses right into a distant period and a pre-Christian sensibility. The earliest tales usually convey major changes from what we would count on. Elves mingle with Norse gods, dwarfs belong to a proud extended family of magician-smiths, and fairies are shape-shifters rising from the hills and the ocean mist. In tale traditions with roots in a pre-Christian mind's eye, an invisible different international exists along our personal. From the misplaced cultures of 1000 years in the past, teenagers into Swans opens the door on probably the most notable worlds ever portrayed in literature - worlds which are either starkly attractive and entire of horrors.

“Children into Swans offers a superb evaluation of the heritage of fairy stories from Perrault to the nineteenth-century collectors/authors corresponding to the brothers Grimm – interesting and obtainable, it is going to be of serious curiosity to a huge diversity of readers.” Joanne Findon, division of English at Trent collage

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A fairy crown awaits you to grace your handsome face and royal form. ” The king in fear at what the maiden said, which he heard though he could not see her, called aloud to his Druid, Coran. “Oh, Coran of many spells,” he said, “and of cunning magic, I call upon your aid. A task is upon me too great for all my skill and wit, greater than any laid upon me since I seized the kingship. An unseen maiden has met us, and by her power would take from me my dear, my comely son. ” Then Coran the Druid stood forth and chanted his spells towards the spot where the maiden’s voice had been heard.

A small band of Tuatha Dé Danann came in one of these invasions, arriving, not by ship, but in a dark cloud that landed on the lonely west coast where they stayed and settled. They fought with and defeated a group of earlier settlers called Fir Bolg, and then conquered the Fomorians, who were a race of demonic sea-raiders. Using their magic, the Tuatha Dé Danann won fierce battles 40 bev cast 7:Layout 1 7/29/14 11:14 AM Page 41 Fairies against these adversaries. The gods then held power over Ireland for almost three hundred years, but eventually their supremacy came to an end.

Shuï was at first shy about talking of the fairies, but finally confessed they were little folk in green coats, who danced around her and made music on their tiny harps; and they talked to her in language too beautiful to be repeated; indeed, she couldn’t understand the words, though she knew well enough what the fairies meant. Many a time after that Shuï was late; but now nobody chided her, for fear of offending the fairies. At last one night Shuï did not come home at all. In alarm, the woods were searched; there was no sign of her; and never was she seen in Cardigan again.

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