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Fairy Stroke

Fairy Stroke

A strange enchantment, administered through touch or through blasting (raising a fairy eddy or wind), said to be practiced by fairies. A fairy stroke had a paralyzing effect, the victim being deprived of speech or movement. This spell might be broken by the use of certain flowers or herbs, such as foxglove, water lily, cow parsnip, or dock, but the latter might also predispose an individual to be fairy-struck.

One strangely impressive painting by the talented but troubled artist Richard Dadd (1817-1886) is titled The Fairy-Feller's Master Stroke. It hangs in the Tate Gallery, London.

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