On September 1st 1922 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his book, The Coming of the Fairies. With this important anniversary month we are going to be looking at the Cottingley Fairies as well as examining the history of fairy folklore and the changes they have undergone both in terms of aesthetic and perception to explore their darker and more dangerous side.... How dangerous were fairies? In the late seventeenth century, they could still scare people to death. Little wonder, as they were thought to be descended from fallen angels, and to have the power to destroy the world itself. Such beliefs, along with some remarkably detailed sightings, lingered on well into the twentieth century.
In today's episode I am joined by Dr Richard Sugg who wrote the book, 'Fairies: A Dangerous History' as we examine the associations fairies had with witchcraft and black magic, the dead and with ghosts and poltergeists.
Thank you for listening.
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Richard Sugg is the author of thirteen books, including John Donne (Palgrave, 2007); Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires (Turkish trans 2018; 3rd edn 2020); A Century of Supernatural Stories (2015); Fairies: A Dangerous History (Reaktion, 2018; Japanese trans 2022); The Real Vampires (Amberley, 2019); and Bloodlust (2020). He lectured in English and History at the universities of Cardiff and Durham (2001-2017), and his work has appeared in The Guardian, The Sun, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, BBC History, the New Yorker, and Der Spiegel, as well as on international television. Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires is one of the topics handled in Greg Jenner's new book, Ask a Historian; and is currently being pitched as a TV documentary series by Barry Krost Media in LA.