Fairies and railways : a nineteenth-century topos and its origins
Title: Fairies and railways : a nineteenth-century topos and its origins
Author: YOUNG, Simon
Citation: Notes and queries, 2012, Vol. 59, No.3, pp. 401-403
ISSN: 1471-6941; 0029-3970
The article discusses newspaper accounts of the impact of railroads and steam engines on local populations of mystical creatures such as fairies, waterkelpies, and witches in nineteenth century Great Britain. Some of the articles include: an 1849 report that fairies at Billie Mire, England have departed; in 1850, the railroads near the Penrhyn castle in Wales spooked away ghosts; while in 1887, a railroad bridge in Speyside, Scotland was responsible for ridding the area of waterkelpies. Other reasons cited regarding the disappearance of folkloric beings include education, the rise of print culture, and the introduction of new technologies.
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