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Evans-Wentz and a Missing Thesis July 16, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Evans-Wentz and a Missing Thesis

Walter Evans-Wentz (obit 1965) was an American mystic who wrote, as a young man, before his interests went eastwards, the most important twentieth-century book about fairies: The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, published at Oxford in 1911. That book, available in many places on the web, can be broken down into three parts. The first […]

Shape-Shifting in a Nineteenth-Century Court-Room May 18, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Shape-Shifting in a Nineteenth-Century Court-Room

Beachcombing has visited the Isle of Man on several occasions in this blog (he has only been once physically): there was the mermaid sighting from an early submarine, the drunk Manx buggan, and the early medieval kingdom of Mannau. But he is confident that this story will trump them all. Our author has been describing […]

Eggs, Mermaids and Fairies October 26, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Eggs, Mermaids and Fairies

  Like, to use an Old Testament image, a dog returning to its vomit, Beach is sidling back to a problem from several months ago. The following reference appears in Waldron’s Description of the Isle of Man and what confuses Beachcombing is the final reference to eggs Some people who lived near the coast, having […]

Funny Fairy Stories August 23, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Funny Fairy Stories

Beachcombing wants to start this post with an apology. He has been writing madly on fairies the last few days, hoping to get some ‘real’ work done before term begins and while Mrs B and the kids are away at the sea. The result is that he has not had time to deal with emails […]

A Changeling on Man August 3, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
A Changeling on Man

A fairy child put in place of a human child as witnessed by an outsider on eighteenth-century Man.

Mermaids Sighted from Early Submarine March 21, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Mermaids Sighted from Early Submarine

Beachcombing promised a month ago a mermaid text from the Isle of Man that would amaze one and all. And what Beachcombing particularly likes about the following eighteenth-century description is the way that the we have not only mermaids but also a ‘submarine’, using the word very loosely, that makes an appearance a century before such vehicles had […]

Catching Mermaids on Man February 24, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Catching Mermaids on Man

Different peoples build their identity around different facts: the Italians around their food, the French around La France, the Poles (at least in times gone by) around their Catholicism. The Isle of Man, between Britain and Ireland, meanwhile, built its identity, at least in early-modern times, around a belief in the wonderful (phantom dogs, water […]

The forgotten kingdom of Mannau November 24, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The forgotten kingdom of Mannau

It is difficult to not to get all lyrical when looking at the early history of Man, the tiny island that stands halfway between the UK and Ireland, not least because that history is so obscure. Beachcombing is not referring to the later Norse destinyof the island, when Man was a pirate base for several thousand frightful Norwegians and […]