Fairies – Traditional – and Modern

Sunday 19 May 2019



The Talk

Medieval fairies are not the tiny, winged creatures of the Victorian imagination nor of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Rather they are irresistibly beautiful – and highly dangerous. They live alongside our world, within a strangely warped time and space, and their dealings with humans can be both tricksy and strangely rule-bound. In this talk, Carolyne Larrington reveals a host of traditional British tales: about the fairy Other World, the terrifying Fairy Queen and lovely fairy mistresses, the oddness of fairy children and the many ways in which fairies seek both to deceive – and to help us. Carolyne will also talk about her ‘Modern Fairies’ project, a new creative initiative that explores how newly composed tales and songs inspired by fairy themes speak to us today in urgent and compelling tones.

Please note that this talk takes place in the afternoon

The Speaker

Carolyne Larrington  is professor of medieval European literature at the University of Oxford and teaches medieval English literature at St John’s College. She researches widely in medieval literature, myth and legend, and is the author of The Land of the Green Man: A Journey through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles (2015. She also presented the BBC Radio 4 series The Lore of the Land (2015). She is Co-Investigator on the ‘Modern Fairies’ research project with the academic and musician Fay Hield of the University of Sheffield.

Participant information

The talk will start at 2pm, lasts 1 – 1 1/2 hours and refreshments will be available at the end.

Fee and refreshments

£14 per person, £12 for Museum Annual Members; £5 for Weald & Downland Museum Volunteers. Book 5 places and get the 6th place free. To include tea, coffee and cake after the talk. Please let the Museum know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.


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