Thursday, 19 December 2013

Fairy Gold

Yet another parallel between Neil Gaiman and Poul Anderson is fairy gold. In Anderson's short story, "Fairy Gold", fairy money is used in several transactions during a single night but, in the morning:

"In her left hand, behind his shoulder, she gripped the fairy gold. The sun came over a roof-top, and smote. Suddenly she held nothing. A few dead leaves blew away upon the dawn breeze, with a sound like dry laughter."
- The Armies Of Elfland (New York, 1992), p. 141.

In Gaiman's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the first performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream is to Auberon's court. When, during the interval, Richard Burbage mentions payment, Auberon is surprised:

"Gold. You ask Auberon of the Fay for gold...? Then you must have your gold, actor."
- Dream Country (New York, 1995), p. 77.

And a bag full of coins changes hands but, in the morning:

Shakespeare: A pouch of yellow leaves.
Burbage: But...we were cheated!
Shakespeare: No, for we were paid full well. Which other troupe has played to such an audience? (p. 86)

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