A Dictionary of English Folklore

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Social Science - 411 pages
With 1250 entries ranging from dragons to Mother Goose, May Day to Michaelmas, this enchanting dictionary unfurls the colorful history behind the holidays, customs, legends, and superstitious beliefs of England.
Ever wonder why we kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas or think a rabbit's foot brings good luck? Two folklore authorities provide reliable and often surprising answers to these and other curiosities that have shaped daily life in England for centuries. They explore the festivals and past
celebrations of the English calendar, from St. Andrews Day and its tradition of drunkenness and cross-dressing to Twelfth Night and its king and queen cake. They also provide concise portraits of real and legendary characters that populate the public memory, including Robin Hood, The Brothers
Grimm, Lady Godiva, Puck, and The Sandman. Fairies, mermaids, hobgoblins, and changelings are but a few of the supernatural forces surveyed here. However, as folklore encompasses the mundane as well as the fantastic, numerous other entries illuminate the significance of colors, numbers, flowers,
animals, and household objects. Learn the curious history behind our distrust of the black sheep, popular credence in wishbone wishes, folk cures for nosebleeds and warts, and persistent old wives' tales. In addition to ancient and medieval folklore, you will find many contemporary urban
legends, e.g., the vanishing hitchhiker--a spooky figure seen ominously by travelers in Britain and the United States--and the Tooth Fairy.
An entertaining resource, The Dictionary of English Folklore will be a fascinating companion for readers of English literature, history, cultural studies, and fantasy
 

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User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

To know Steve Roud is to -- be amazed. In other words, let it be said that I have a slight personal bias. But I don't know Jacqueline Simpson, and my personal contacts with Steve Roud are slight; we ... Read full review

A dictionary of English folklore

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Containing more than 1200 alphabetically arranged entries, this folklore dictionary spans familiar beliefs, from the earliest cultural traditions to more familiar subjects, such as Mother Goose. The ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 24
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27
Section 28
Section 29

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About the author (2000)


Dr. Jacqueline Simpson was president of the Folklore Society from 1993 to 1996, editor of Folklore from 1979 to 1993, and is currently Honorary Secretary of the Folklore Society. Her publications include Folklore of Sussex, Folklore of the Welsh Borders, and Scandinavian Folktales. Steve Roud has
been Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for the last 15 years. He is the author of Mumming Plays in Oxfordshire and has compiled the Index to the Journal Folklore 1968-1992.

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