London Lore: The Legends and Traditions of the World's Most Vibrant City

Front Cover
Random House, 2010 - History - 439 pages
6 Reviews
London is a city with almost as many ancient legends and deep-rooted customs as it has streets and landmarks, and here a leading folklorist brings together an astonishingly rich selection of them—tales of ghosts and witches; stories about fabled events, heroes, and villains; and accounts of local supersitions and beliefs. Beyond simply retelling these stories it also delves through layers of hearsay and speculation to investigate how and why they arose. In the process, it shows how the story of Dick Whittington and his cat has connections with the ancient Middle East, explains why lions rather than ravens at the Tower of London were once felt to be inextricably bound up with the city’s fate, and pinpoints precisely where the story of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, was first recorded. Exploring everything from local superstitions, to ghost stories, to annual customs, this is an enchanting guide to the ancient legends and deep-rooted beliefs that can be found the length and breadth of the city.

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Review: London Lore: The legends and traditions of the world's most vibrant city

User Review  - Hung-ya - Goodreads

It is simply not what I had in mind... There are too many ghost stories. Read full review

Review: London Lore: The legends and traditions of the world's most vibrant city

User Review  - Sami - Goodreads

Compulsive reading filled with wonderful tidbits and the stories a vibrant and vital London has told both to and about itself all down through the centuries. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Steve Roud recently retired from his position as Local Studies Librarian for the London Borough of Croydon and has served as Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for over fifteen years. He has been researching British folklore for over thirty years and is the joint author of the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore. His other books include the Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland, which won the Katherine Briggs Folklore Award in 2004, Monday's Child is Fair of Face ... and other traditional beliefs about babies and motherhood and The English Year, a month-by-month guide to festivals. He also compiles the Folk Song Index and the Broadside Index, two internationally acclaimed computer databases of traditional folk and popular song.

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