Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fairy
(857 words)

The term ‘fairy’ is derived, via French, from the Vulgar Latin fata (“goddess of destiny”; fatum = fate). The most intensive transmission of the fairy concept, which incorporates traditions from Classical Antiquity and elsewhere in the Indo-European world, has been in Celtic literature, where the enchantress Morgan le Fay (hence  “Fata Morgana”) in the world of Arthurian legend represents its most famous manifestation. The fairy tradition, already apparent in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (14th century), was rediscovered in the 16th century and given new dire…

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Behringer, Wolfgang, “Fairy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 26 August 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019173>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126



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