The Lore of Scotland: A Guide to Scottish Legends

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Arrow, 2011 - History - 554 pages
5 Reviews

Scotland's rich past and varied landscape have inspired an extraordinary array of legends and beliefs, and in The Lore of Scotland Jennifer Westwood and Sophia Kingshill bring together many of the finest and most intriguing: stories of heroes and bloody feuds, tales of giants, fairies, and witches, and accounts of local customs and traditions. Their range extends right across the country, from the Borders with their haunting ballads, via Glasgow, site of St Mungo's miracles, to the fateful battlefield of Culloden, and finally to the Shetlands, home of the seal-people.

More than simply retelling these stories, The Lore of Scotland explores their origins, showing how and when they arose and investigating what basis - if any - they have in historical fact. In the process, it uncovers the events that inspired Shakespeare's Macbeth, probes the claim that Mary King's Close is the most haunted street in Edinburgh, and examines the surprising truth behind the fame of the MacCrimmons, Skye's unsurpassed bagpipers. Moreover, it reveals how generations of Picts, Vikings, Celtic saints and Presbyterian reformers shaped the myriad tales that still circulate, and, from across the country, it gathers together legends of such renowned figures as Sir William Wallace, St Columba, and the great warrior Fingal. The result is a thrilling journey through Scotland's legendary past and an endlessly fascinating account of the traditions and beliefs that play such an important role in its heritage.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Malarchy - LibraryThing

The Lore of Scotland is an encyclopedia of tales from around Scotland organised by place. Lore of Scotland is a 555 page tome filled with small print type, it is incredibly difficult to read from ... Read full review

Review: The Lore of Scotland: A Guide to Scottish Legends, from the Mermaid of Galloway to the Great Warrior Fingal

User Review  - CuteBadger - Goodreads

This is a good guide to myths and legends about Scotland, arranged by area of the country. As it's laid out in this way it's more of a reference book than something you can sit down and read from ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Jennifer Westwood was born in 1940 and studied English Language at Oxford, followed by Medieval Icelandic at Cambridge. A long-time member of the Folklore Society, she served as editor of FLS Books and also the journal Folklore. Her books include Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain (1985), Gothick Cornwall (1992), Lost Atlantis (1997), On Pilgrimage (2003) and The Lore of the Land (2005, with Jacqueline Simpson). Sadly, she died in 2008.

Sophia Kingshill is a writer, editor and researcher. She has contributed to folklore publications and her plays have been performed in Scotland, England and Norway. She lives in London.

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