Thursday, January 22, 2009

proof of faeries

This is an email I got from a friend and dance student Jeniffer about a book she read called,
"The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena" written by John F. Michell

Hey Elizabeth!

I finally got that book from the library. According to the book, the fairy shoe was found in south-west Ireland in 1835.
"It is black, worn at the heel and styled like the shoe of an eighteenth-century gentleman. But it is only two and seven-eighths inches long, and seven eighths of an inch at its widest -- too long and narrow even for a doll's shoe. If it were an apprentice-piece, say, how did it come to be found on a remote sheep track? Why is it such an odd shape? How did it come to be worn? Who would possess tools fine enough to make such a curiosity?
"The man who found the shoe assumed it belonged to the 'little people' and gave it to the local doctor, from whom it passed to the Somerville family of Castletownshend, Co Cork. On a lecture tour of America, the author Dr Edith Somerville gave the shoe to Harvard University scientists, who examined it minutely. The shoe had tiny hand-stitches and well-crafted eyelets (but no laces), and was thought to be of mouse skin.
"Other shoes, equally odd, have been found in Ireland, not to mention other items of clothing, such as the coat found in a fairy ring by John Abraham Ffolliott in 1868. It was only six-and-a-half inches long and one and a three quarter inches across the shoulder. Fully lined and with cloth-covered buttons, its high, velvet-trimmed collar was greased and shiny from, presumably, long wear, while other parts were frayed and '...the pockets holed and scorched as if from a tiny pipe.'
"The reference above to an 'apprentice-piece' brings in the conventional explanation for all such items: that they were made by craft apprentices to demonstrate their skill and to serve as easily carried trade samples. This, of course, does not account for the fairy shoe and coat being so well used, as if they had been discarded by wearers no more than a foot or so tall."

The book also cites another book, from which this information is all supposedly taken.
Daimonic Reality (1994) by Patrick Harpur

There is a photo of the shoe next to a thimble, but not the coat. They also shoe a few other "fairy" items, none of which are as interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment