February 1, 2024

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia Of Faeries

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia Of Faeries
Heather Fawcett


(February 1, 2024)

Emily Wilde is a young Cambridge don who studies dryadology — the ethnography of faeries. In fact, she’s the youngest fellow in history of her department. She’s off for a short trip to Iceland, or someplace quite like it, to discover some facts about the Silent Folk. She learns a lot.

This is a pleasant and a charming book. It doesn’t startle or soar: that would be unmannerly, maybe uncanny. Fawcett has an interesting knack of forgivable cheating — as do many of her faeries: Wilde is often saved by dei ex machina, which is then excused because everyone knows something about faeries that Fawcett has not actually established here. Once you get the hang of it, it hangs together: of course faeries can do that, because you know stories where faeries do it. Of course faeries love something and hate something else, because you’ve stories about that, too. Everything you have heard is mostly right, which (when you think about it) makes even the little folk terrific.