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British Goblins

The legend of the Cyhyraeth is sometimes conflated with tales of a monstrous Welsh spirit in the shape of a hideously ugly woman with a harpy-like appearance: unkempt hair and wizened, withered arms with leathery wings, long black teeth and pale corpse-like features. She approaches the window of the person about to die by night and calls their name or travels invisibly beside them and utters her cry when they approach a stream or crossroads. Wirt Sikes's 1881 tome defines and records Welsh fairy legends as they existed -- still vital, alive, not just a mordant mythology but living folklore in that year. Like many texts of the time, it treats the subject mechanically, detailing fairy legends with such care and precision as to leach away a measure of the magic. But all the same, there's plenty of magic here: this is the myth that modern fasntasy grows from; and the truth is that it's not to be found elsewhere still alive. (Jacketless library hardcover.)
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