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A portrait of a fairy, by Sophie Gengembre Anderson (1869).The title of the painting is Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things – purportedly from a poem by Charles Ede., fae, fair folk; from faery, faerie, "realm of the fays") is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural.To the word faie was added the suffix -erie (Modern English -(e)ry), used to express either a place where something is found (fishery, nunnery) or a trade or typical activity engaged in (cookery, thievery).
In English literature of the Elizabethan era, elves became conflated with the fairies of Romance culture, so that the two terms began to be used interchangeably.
Any form of sudden death might stem from a fairy kidnapping, with the apparent corpse being a wooden stand-in with the appearance of the kidnapped person.
In Scottish folklore, fairies are divided into the Seelie Court, the more beneficently inclined (but still dangerous) fairies, and the Unseelie Court, the malicious fairies.
One popular story described how, when the angels revolted, God ordered the gates of heaven shut: those still in heaven remained angels, those in hell became demons, and those caught in between became fairies.
but with the coming of Christianity, they lived on, in a dwindled state of power, in folk belief.
In old French romance, "fee" was a woman skilled in magic, and who knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs. Faierie became fairy, but with that spelling now almost exclusively referring to one of the legendary people, with the same meaning as fay.