What are fairies, those romantic and sometimes mischievous little people-- pixies, nixies, elves, fauns, brownies, dwarfs, leprechauns, and all the other forms of the daoine sidhe (fairy people)? Are they real? Folklorists say they are fragments of ancient religious beliefs; occultists call them nature spirits; the peasant tradition says they are fallen angels who were not good enough to be saved or bad enough to be lost.
Dr. Evans-Wentz is best known as the author-translator of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", but his first love was this book, which presents a body of tradition and testimony about an elusive order of life that survives in the natural setting of wild and lonely places. He was not satisfied with merely formal study, but collected first-hand reports of fairies in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Brittany, and faced up to the key questions avoided by other folklorists. Dr. Evans-Wentz, whose journeys led him from the haunts of fairyland to the wilderness of Tibet, opens a path for us to the luminous reality behind the traditions of folklore. [via]