E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A sort of mirage occasionally seen in the Straits of Messina. Fata is Italian for a fairy, and the fairy Morgana was the sister of Arthur and pupil of Merlin. She lived at the bottom of a lake, and dispensed her treasures to whom she liked. She is first introduced in the Orlando Innamorato as Lady Fortune, but subsequently assumes her witch-like attributes. In Tasso her three daughters are introduced.