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Strange and Secret Peoples Fairies and Victorian Consciousness

by Carole G. Silver

  • ISBN: 9780195121995
  • ISBN10: 0195121996

Strange and Secret Peoples Fairies and Victorian Consciousness

by Carole G. Silver

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 01/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780195121995
  • ISBN10: 0195121996
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Description: The Victorians never tired of fairies -- tiny winged creatures with aspects fey or inscrutable, motives benign or malefic. In an age when the reach of science was radically extended and thinkers began to insist that nature and history could be empirically explained, the Victorians -- in all seriousness -- synthesized the lore of the British Isles into a comprehensive history of paranormal existence. Changelings, fairy abductions and fairy brides, goblins and brownies pervaded the art, literature, and theater of the time and were embraced by prominent figures such as Christinia Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley and William Morris. News accounts made serious reference to fairy existence, reflecting widespread belief that such creatures moved undetected among humans. What did this mean? How deep did Victorian fairy-faith go and what does this faith tell us about the age?

In Strange and Secret Peoples, noted Victorianist Carole Silver offers a witty, elegant, and accessibly written look at the Victorians' belief in a race of fairy people. She explores a fascinating sociocultural zone where rationality meets superstition, where attitudes toward physical difference and deformity, fantasy and whimsy, the unseen and the unknown, take rich imaginative shape. Silver's perspective opens a compelling new window on the Victorian age, and will give readers in today's angel-saturated culture some intriguing grounds for comparison.

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