How the Tuatha de Danaan of History Became the Fairies of Contemporary Fantasy
By Katelyn Bossert
Introduction: Throughout the past twenty years, the fantasy genre has expanded and taken the literary world by storm. This is seen by the emergence of such famous fantasy literature as the Harry Potter series and the Twilight Saga. Yet one aspect of fantasy that has grown large even among fantasy writers is the emergence of what I call Irish fantasy. In this essay, I will attempt to show that the role of Irish history and folklore in the fantasy genre has not happened by chance, but is instead caused by a combination of factors involving the transition from fact into folklore, including the Irish Revival, and what I believe to be the coming of a second revival. This Irish fantasy that has grown in the fantasy genre is made up of such historical and mythical characters as the Tuatha de Danaan. I will show an evolution of the Tuatha de Danaan from historical people into the fairies commonly associated with Irish myth, how the Tuatha de Danaan have changed and morphed into the contemporary fairies of the fantasy genre, and why this change has occurred and been allowed to take its place among fantasy.
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