Old French faierie (Early Modern English faerie) referred to an illusion, or enchantment; the land of the Faes.
Modern English (by the 17th century) fairy transferred the name of the realm of the fays to its inhabitants, Fairyland may be referred to simply as "Fairy" or "Faerie," though that usage is an archaism.
It is often the land ruled by the "Queen of Fairy," and thus anything from fairyland is also sometimes described as being from the "Court of the Queen of Elfame" or from Seelie court in Scottish folklore.
The Scots word elfame or elphyne "fairyland" Records of the Scottish witch trials reveal that many initiates claimed to have had congress with the "Queen of Elfame" and her retinue.
On 8 November 1576 midwife Bessie Dunlop, a resident of Dalry, Scotland, was accused of sorcery and witchcraft.
She answered her accusers that she had received tuition from Thomas Reid, a former barony officer who had died at the Battle of Pinkie 30 years earlier, and from the Queen of "Court of Elfame" that lay nearby.
In the medieval verse romance and the Scottish ballad of Thomas the Rhymer the title character is spirited away by a female supernatural being.
Although identified by commentators as the Queen of Fairies, the texts refrain from specifically naming her or her domain except in ballad version A, in which she is referred to as the Queen of Elfland.
Poet and novelist Robert Graves published his own alteration of the ballad, replacing her name with "Queen of Elphame": Elfhame or Elfland, is portrayed in a variety of ways in these ballads and stories, most commonly as mystical and benevolent, but also at times as sinister and wicked.
The mysteriousness of the land, and its otherworldly powers are a source of scepticism and distrust in many tales.
Additional journeys to the realm include the fairy tale "Childe Rowland", which presents a particularly negative view of the land.
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