"Away with the fairies"
: the motif of fairy abduction and of the changeling, from Irish mythology to the Irish diaspora

  • Audrey Robitaillie

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This project aims at analysing the reuses of the motif of fairy abduction and of the changeling in contemporary literature, either Irish or from the Irish diaspora. Studying these motifs as they appear in the folk accounts allows a better understanding of their traditional characteristics, to then be able to compare them with the way the contemporary writers reinterpret them. It seems that the changeling motif has been taken up as an Irish metaphor for emigration and exile, whether it be geographical, psychological or linguistic. This thesis thus explores issues of identity and memory through the theme of the
changeling which, although it is not of Irish origin since it is absent from the early mythological sources, has paradoxically become an Irish literary symbol.
Date of AwardDec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorGreg Toner (Supervisor) & Bertrand Cardin (Supervisor)

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