Foreword by Kathleen Raine
21.6 x 13.8 cm. xxxviii, 524 pp.  1977 by Colin Smythe Ltd
First published in 1911, The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries has become a classic on the subject, even though it is less well-known that his Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, and The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, for example. This has been largely due to its having been out of print for so long. The appearance of this edition in 1977 was therefore extremely timely.
The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries was Walter Yeeling Evans Wentz's first book. It is dedicated to two people who had greatly influenced him: the poet W.B.Yeats and G.W.Russell - 'AE' - who was perhaps the greatest mystic and visionary of this century (and is the anonymous mystic whose interview is printed on pages 59-66 of this book).
The theme of The Fairy-Faith, as Dr Kathleen Raine, the poet and Blake and Yeats scholar, has succinctly written in her foreword to this edition, is 'the other world of the Celtic race as this can be discovered in the fairy lore common to all the Celtic countries - Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man . . . In their belief and traditions about the fairy-world the Celts have retained elements of their pre-Christian religion.' In those places, 'furthest removed from the influence of modern civilisation, the oral tradition of unlettered country people has preserved elements of the religion of a learned caste, the Druids, whom Pythagoras himself honoured as custodians of secret knowledge,
Elements of earlier and later faiths and local circumstances have coloured this immemorial doctrine of the unsee world only superficially . . . the old religion is grounded in the unchanging nature of things visible and invisible common to all traditions . . . the universe is held to be living. The visible is but the outer aspect of the one life, diversified into spiritual beings, energies and agencies of all kinds.'