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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: DonnaE on August 04, 2012, 06:51 AM

Title: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Finfolk
Post by: DonnaE on August 04, 2012, 06:51 AM
I have read a lot of folklore, but never heard of Finfolk (not kinfolk as I recently typed! Thanks for catching that!). I read an article today about a small isle off the coast of Scotland called EynHallow (means Holy Land). The author gives a good overview with some nice links to the history and legend of the uninhabited island.

here's the article: http://www.gadling.com/2012/07/29/eynhallow-visiting-orkneys-haunted-isle/

And here is a quote about finfolks and elves that struck me as funny: The Finfolk were evil beings and sometimes abducted people, much like the elves of European folklore before fantasy writers turned them into metrosexuals.

I need to read some older european folklore about elves and such if this is the case. My oldest DD (almost 15) read Lament and loved that they were not Tinkerbell-esque and didn't conform to the idea she had in her head of elves and/or fairies.

I am not planning on writing anything about Eynhallow, but was curious if any of you have done research on it? This sounds like a great setting for someone to use! And how about the finfolk? Where have you found the most info on them? I am going to do a google search, but am looking for actual books I can check out at the library that might have original folks stories about them.
Title: Re: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Kinfolk
Post by: Eric Hammond on August 04, 2012, 07:11 AM
You meant Finfolk, not kinfolk, right?

Some of my kinfolk can be quite disturbing, but they never abduct people.
Title: Re: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Kinfolk
Post by: DonnaE on August 04, 2012, 07:20 AM
LOL! YEs. Finfolk!
Title: Re: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Kinfolk
Post by: JFriday on August 04, 2012, 07:41 AM
oooh, I feel a gothic novel setting in my bones...
Title: Re: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Finfolk
Post by: dinalapomy101 on August 04, 2012, 09:00 AM
Shana Norris's self-pubbed YA novel SURFACING is fabulous! I just read it and it is about Finfolk. It takes place on the eastern coast of the U.S., but talks about their origins and how they came from the British Isles. I highly recommend it! It is more paranormal romance than gothic, but a well written book with great characters.
Title: Re: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Finfolk
Post by: Amaris Glass on August 07, 2012, 03:41 PM
Finfolk! Yes! The book I'm working on now has a few finfolk in it at the very end (and the companion novel is all about them), but they are still kind of a mystery to me. *off to go read about finfolk*

Much obliged for the link!
Title: Re: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Finfolk
Post by: Melissa on August 16, 2012, 05:53 PM
There are finnfolk in my Wicked Lovely series.

I've not been to Eynhallow yet. I've done Roussay, Westray, South Ronaldsay, & Mainland Orkney.  It's easy to see how the stories of selchies & finnfolk originated here when you spend a few weeks wandering. (It's also a lovely place, filled with archaeology, natural wonders, & serenity. I've spent a couple weeks there 3 out of the last 5 years.)

There is a useful resource that not only has Orcadian history, but also lore.  The entry on finnfolk is http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/finfolk/index.html

Orkney can be argued to be the source of both the selchie & finnfolk stories. The chief distinction being that selchies are shifter-ish where finnfolk are amphibian but not shifters.

In a related note, over in the Hebrides (my other summer escape the past few years) you'll find a related type of fey creature: the Hebridean "Blue Men of the Minch" who are said to be in the waters near Lewis. They're sometimes called "storm kelpies."  A neighbor there took me out to sea to look for whales, seals, & just roam. Again, the chop of the sea as the wildlife pop up and stare at you with very human faces makes this myth make perfect sense too. 
Title: Re: EynHallow - Scottish isle -- elves and Finfolk
Post by: shana on August 17, 2012, 09:21 AM
Thanks for the mention, dinalapomy101! And thank you so much for the nice words!  :-)

I've done a lot of research on finfolk over the past few years. I'm working on the second book in the series, which goes more into the myths and history surrounding finfolk and takes place in their hidden islands, so I'm doing tons of research on Orkney and its folklore. I love reading about it all! It's such a rich place of history and legend, and makes a great setting for gothic or paranormal stories.

It was actually this story about two people disappearing from a boat trip to Eynhallow that sparked my first interest in writing about the finfolk: http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/finfolk/hallow.htm As Melissa mentioned, that site is a fantastic resource on Orcadian history and folklore!