1692

FOLKLORE:
One of the great early studies of Fairies was Robert Kirk's The Secret Common-Wealth, published this year. Kirk, a Presbyterian clergyman who served in Scotland's Highlands and who had a keen interest in the supernatural lore of the region, was convinced of the reality of fairies. After all, he asked, how could such a widespread belief, even if "not the tenth part true, yet could not spring of nothing?" He conducted his inquiries on the assumption that once he had enough information, he could accurately describe the nature of fairy life down to its smallest details. According to Kirk, fairies were of a "middle nature between man and angel" with bodies "somewhat of the nature of a condensed cloud." They dressed and spoke "like the people and country under which they live." Sometimes passing fairies could be heard but not seen. They traveled often, frequently through the air, could steal anything they liked (from food to human babies), and had no particular religion. Mortals with "second sight" (clairvoyance) were most likely to see them, since they were usually invisible to the human eye. In fact, the word "fairy" comes from a much earlier word, faierie, which meant a state of enchantment rather than an individual supernatural entity. Kirk also remarks remarks on one unfortunate man's plight: His neighbours often perceaved this man to disappear at a certane Place, and about one Hour after to become visible, and discover himself near a Bowshot from the first place. It was in that Place where he became invisible, said he, that the subterraneans (fairies) did encounter and combate with him.

FOLKLORE:
A skeleton found in a tomb near Angers, France, is reported to have measured seventeen feet four inches.

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