Book Review: How to See Fairies

fairiesI read (and briefly shared) How To See Fairies by Charles van Sandwyck in the spring, sitting under a blooming hawthorn tree. You could hardly imagine a more perfect setting for his work than the legendary fairy tree itself, full of pink-tinged white blossoms that showered down delicate petals at the slightest breeze. I shared the cover and a few pictures of pages inside the book in a blog post, but I think the book mention went largely unnoticed. When I shared a quote from it on Instagram recently I felt people’s interest renewed; who had woven such a lovely string of words together? Then I shared a few pictures on my stories and after the response they received I felt the book truly deserved it’s own post. Like the book on Tasha Tudor, it isn’t a wordy novel you read, but rather a book of illustrations and short stories and poems that you immerse yourself into. It's by Folio Society and is the first time Charles van Sandwyck's tales have been collected into one binding. Folio Society is a guilty pleasure for me; I feel as if they make future heirlooms--books that feel classic with the details and quality you find in antique tomes. In How to See Fairies, Sandwyck's illustrations are beautifully whimsical and detailed; bees carry golden keys, mice don mushroom bonnets, and everywhere is a wreath of autumn treasures in the form of acorn caps, shiny blackberries, and spiky thistles. The book has the power to transport you into a magical realm and then bring you back to this imperfect world to admire it again with the ashes washed clean from your eyes. As Sandwyck himself said, “When you come to realize Fairies exist, you appreciate life so much better.” And isn’t that what it is really all about? Appreciating this life and all the magic that is happening constantly around us. After all is it not nature’s alchemy that transmutes what was green to golden leaf? fairies-2 fairies-6 fairies-4fairy-5"The gnome king sings a treasure song, To him the earth and sky belong. He sits in bowers gold and green, Such happy moments he has seen. The parting summer wind has sighed, Now autumn's chest is open wide." fairies-7 fairy fairies-8"The leaves are heaped in tidy mounds, The branches whisper happy sounds. The waves of grass move to and fro...In amber tones the light caressed a place within my heart to rest. The lamps are lit, but turned down low. You'll find me in the afterglow." fairy-2 fairies-9 fairy-4 fairies-10


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