Introduction Chapter 1. Believing in Fairies Chapter 2. Policing Vernacular Belief Chapter 3. Incubi Fairies Chapter 4. Christ the Changeling Chapter 5. Living in Fairyland Postscript Notes Bibliography Index Acknowledgments
Richard Firth Green is Academy Professor of The Ohio State University. He is author of several books, including A Crisis of Truth: Literature and Law in Ricardian England, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
"This wonderful book is a rare example of work which is genuinely interdisciplinary, making an equal contribution to our understanding of medieval romance literature, Western Christian theology and medieval Western European cultural history. It does this by bringing together two different bodies of source material-the romances and the writings of medieval churchmen-in both of which the author is equally expert. The result is a whole series of exciting new insights, centred on the theme of fairyland as a contested site in a struggle between official and unofficial cultures in the high and late Middle Ages."-Time and Mind "As a guide to to the traditions of Britain and France, [Green's] can't be surpassed. This is cultural history from below, not the usual top-down perspective. . . . It is not only original, sensible and deeply researched but accessible. Not only medievalists will actively enjoy reading it."-London Review of Books "Although I have brushed up against suggestions of fairy lore and activity many times in the materials with which I work, I have taken them for granted up to now, which also means I did not think very hard about them. Reading this book has illuminated a large expanse of material much more deeply and intimately than I imagined possible."-Claire Fanger, Rice University "Elf Queens and Holy Friars is a lucid, rich and engrossing book. Green sustains his case for the contingency and variety of medieval fairy beliefs, while also making a coherent and compelling argument about medieval clerical approaches to such beliefs. The study is likely to become a staple of reading lists across a number of areas of literary and cultural history; however, its appeal should extend well beyond the academy. Elf Queens and Holy Friars is a deeply learned book, but it wears that learning lightly; there is much here for readers new to this field to enjoy, not least the sheer entertainment value of many medieval fairy accounts."-Literature & History "A new book by Richard Firth Green is always a significant event, and this one, surveying fairy beliefs in the Middle Ages, is set to become the work of first recourse on the subject. It is scholarly, meticulously researched beyond the limits of all the more familiar examples, and is in many respects a profoundly revisionary account of such beliefs. It deserves to be read not just by folklorists and critics of those medieval romances in which fairies figure, but by cultural, social, and intellectual historians, theologians, and historians of witchcraft."-Speculum "Much has been written on medieval fairies in the past twenty years or so, but in Elf Queens and Holy Friars Green succeeds triumphantly in bringing new insights and thoughtful analysis to their history and their metamorphoses into divergent forms, as the early modern world begins to take shape."-Times Literary Supplement