Fantasy Creatures - Fairies
This page is about the history of the Fairies, with interesting stories as well as a collection of amazing Fairy art posters.
Being the most numerous of the worlds magical creatures Fairies have spread to nearly all corners of the globe over the centuries. As a result of this they have amassed a wide range of names from different cultures. Some of these include The Little People, The Good Folk and People Of Peace.
These cute creatures are the most recognized and loved of all the Fae beings for good reason as they are generally kind and helpful, unlike some of their closely related bretheren.
A Brief Fairy History
The Fairies originated in Italy. Always an adventurous race they took great delight spreading across the world with the Romans. It is from all this travel that the modern name Fairy came into being. In France the original Roman name Fatae became Fee. Later in Britain that was Anglicised as Fay's and later they became named Fairy by the countryfolk.
Not everything went smoothly for the Fairies with all this exploration. In many countries the local magical creatures resented the intrusion. Mainly things were quickly smoothed out, however there were wars with some races. To this day there are some places where there are no fairies. The most noticeable is Greece where the Nymphs and Dryads joined forces to drive the Fairies out. However the most well known is the Cornwall, Devon and Somerset areas of the U.K. This is the territory of the Pixies. The Fairy vs. Pixie war drove them east of the River Pedder. To this day Fairies will not set foot in The Pixies territory.
Fairies generally fall into one of two distinct groups, Troop Fairies and Solitary Fairies. More is known about the former due to its nature.
The name Troop fairies is a little misleading. These Fairies live in a society situation and only gained the name troop due to traveling in large groups. Each society, known as a Fatara, is ruled by a King and Queen. However the Queen has all the power, the King is merely her partner, a consort if you will. They generally live in hollow hills and barrows, although there are exceptions to every rule.
With each Fatara having its own rulers and army you might expect problems between them, and at times there are. However there is a Queen that rules over all Fairies, Queen Titania, who settles most of these disputes. She lives near Stratford on Avon in England with Prince Oberon.
The other type of Fairy is the solitary one. Due to their lifestyle not a great deal is known about them. Some of the Solitary Fairies have chosen to shun the Fatara lifestyle to live alone, while others have been exiled for various reasons. A lot of these Fairies hunt and do art and craft work, which they then sell at one of the many Fatara run Fairy markets.
Although many have claimed to have photographed Fairies, in reality it is almost impossible. In normal circumstances the camera would not capture anything due to glamour. This is the name of the Fairies magic, the word coming from the old Scottish word glamerye.
The most well known of these so called photos are the Cottingley Glen ones. In 1917 two girls, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright took two photos of themselves with fairies, and another three in 1920. These photos sparked much controversy at the time between skeptics and spiritualists. Many experts who examined the photos declared them to be unfaked. However it was when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of Sherlock Holmes) took an interest that they became known to the world in general. Doyle was convinced that the photos were real and hosted many lectures on the subject, as well as writing numerous magazine articles and a book.
It was not until 1978 that it was pointed out by Mr James Randi that the Fairies looked very similar to the illustrations in a book published two years before the girls took their first photo. In 1981 Elsie confessed that the photos were faked. The girls had sketched the illustrations in the book, cut them out and held them in place with hatpins.
To date two movies have been made about the hoax, as well as numerous books.
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