The Faerie Handbook: An Enchanting Compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes, and Projects by the Editors of Faerie Magazine, 240 pp, RL 5

The Faerie Handbook: An Enchanting Compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes, and Projects by the editors of Faerie Magazine, gorgeously designed and published by Harper Design, is truly a magical book. With a wealth of beautiful vintage and contemporary  illustrations and elegant photographs, The Faerie Handbook is divided into four parts: Flora & Fauna, Fashion & Beauty, Arts & Culture and Home, Food & Entertaining. Literature, essays, recipes and do-it-yourself projects fill the pages, with superb back matter that offers resources for fairy festivals, a bibliography, information on the contributors and photo and illustrations credits. Every single page of this book is entrancing and makes you want to know more. Happily, a page turn takes care of this desire!

The Faerie Handbook is most definitely for believers, however, for people like me who posses merely a literary and artistic interest in these legendary creatures, The Faerie Handbook is fascinating for its encyclopedic approach to this subject, whether you find it fact or fiction. There are pieces on changelings, fairy dust and one I especially love titled, Where the Veil is Thin: Fairy Portals and Pathways. The Faerie Handbook features writers and artists known for their interest in faeries, from Alfred, Lord Tennyson, his poem, The Lady of Shalott and John William Waterhouse's magnificent painting of the same name to Arthur Rackham, as discussed by Charles Vess and Brian Froud. Children's book author and illustrator Tasha Tudor and the Cottingly Fairy Hoax are also subjects delved into in The Faerie Handbook.
The section on Art & Beauty combines features on artists creating fashions from flowers and paper, a piece on a Parisian illustrator who published a book of faeries in flower garb in 1847 to Kirsty Mitchell, a fashion designer and photographer who crafted and created Wonderland, a book and exhibition of dream-laden, fairy tale images, a storybook without words. Recipes for faerie fragrances and baths as well as instructions on how to make a faery crown and faerie dust round out the section. 

The final section on Home, Food & Entertaining tells readers how to throw a Midsummer Night's Dream Garden Party, build an arbor and work with edible flowers (candied violets! flower lollipops!) and, of course, how to throw a Faerie Tea Party. 

From start to finish, The Faerie Handbook is a beautiful book - both in content and design. The production and writing is so marvelous that even someone with only a passing interest in faeries is sure to be engaged for  hours poring over this magical book!

Source: Review Copy

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