Friday, October 21, 2011

Library Essentials Month: Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia by Carol Rose

I've been asked a few times recently to recommend some books on faerie lore that go beyond the typical Celtic, Irish, Scottish, English emphasis found in most books. I am not an expert in this realm, but I have a regular need for books of this sort, limited though they are.  So I am doing double duty by making these titles today's library essentials.

For years now, my "go to" faerie reference books have been Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia and Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth
by Carol Rose. They appear in many bibliographies so I am not the only one who has found them the most useful. And while I consult the first one more often, I think of these books as a two volume set in my mind since they fill in the gaps for each other. It's hard to have one without the other.

What really makes these books valuable are their appendices which include groupings by country for easy references as well as other groupings by power, association, type, religion, etc. Each of the books have over 25 appendices each if that gives you an idea of how wonderfully helpful they are. And they are authentically international in scope which is more than can be said for other titles.

Since I acquired these, The Fairy Bible: The Definitive Guide to the World of Fairies by Teresa Moorey has also been released. It looks like a good complement to the Rose books--especially with in the inclusion of more original illustrations. I haven't added it to my own library yet because I haven't had much need for it since my faerie work has not been very demanding in recent years. But it is on my list. Now that I am writing this post I think I need it even more...

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