Online Encyclopedia

FAIRY RING

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 135 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FAIRY RING, the popular name for the circular patches of a dark green colour that are to be seen occasionally on permanent grass-land, either lawn or meadow, on which the fairies were supposed to hold their midnight revels. They mark the area of growth of some fungus, starting from a centre of one or more plants. The mycelium produced from the spores dropped by the fungus or from the " spawn " in the soil, radiates outwards, and each year's successive crop of fungi rises from the new growth round the circle. The rich colour of the grass is due to the fertilizing quality of the decaying fungi, which are peculiarly rich in nitrogenous substances. The most complete and symmetrical grass rings are formed by Alarasmius orcades,the fairy ring champignon, but the mushroom and many other species occasionally form rings, both on grass-lands and in woods. Observations were made on a ring in a pine-wood for a period of nine years, and it was calculated that it increased from centre to circumference about 8i in. each year. The fungus was never found growing within the circle during the time the ring was under observation, the decaying vegetation necessary for its growth having become exhausted. FAI'HFULL, EMILY (1835–1895), English philanthropist, was the youngest daughter of the Rev. Ferdinand Faithfull, and was born at Headley Rectory, Surrey, in 1835. She took a great interest in the conditions of working-women, and with the object of extending their sphere of labour, which was then painfully limited, in 186o she set up in London a printing establishment for women. The " Victoria Press," as it was called, soon obtained quite a reputation for its excellent work, and Miss Faithfull was shortly afterwards appointed printer and publisher in ordinary to Queen Victoria. In 1863 she began the publication of a monthly organ, The Victoria Magazine, in which for eighteen years she continuously and earnestly advocated the claims of women to remunerative employment. In 1868 she published a novel, Change upon Change. She also appeared as a lecturer, and with the object of furthering the interests of her sex, lectured widely and successfully both in England and the United States, which latter she visited in 1872 and 1882. In 1888 she was awarded a civil list Pension of L5o. She died in Manchester on the 31st of May 1895.
End of Article: FAIRY RING
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