By Jacqueline Simpson
With 1250 entries starting from dragons to mom Goose, may perhaps Day to Michaelmas, this enthralling dictionary unfurls the colourful background in the back of the vacations, customs, legends, and superstitious ideals of britain. Ever ask yourself why we kiss less than the mistletoe at Christmas or imagine a rabbit's foot brings reliable good fortune? folklore experts offer trustworthy and sometimes staggering solutions to those and different curiosities that experience formed way of life in England for hundreds of years. They discover the gala's and previous celebrations of the English calendar, from St. Andrews Day and its culture of drunkenness and cross-dressing to 12th evening and its king and queen cake. in addition they offer concise images of genuine and mythical characters that populate the general public reminiscence, together with Robin Hood, The Brothers Grimm, girl Godiva, Puck, and The Sandman. Fairies, mermaids, hobgoblins, and changelings are yet some of the supernatural forces surveyed right here. in spite of the fact that, as folklore encompasses the mundane in addition to the glorious, quite a few different entries remove darkness from the importance of colours, numbers, plants, animals, and loved ones gadgets. study the curious heritage at the back of our mistrust of the "black sheep," well known credence in "wishbone" needs, folks therapies for nosebleeds and warts, and protracted outdated better halves' stories. as well as old and medieval folklore, you will discover many modern city legends, e.g., the vanishing hitchhiker--a spooky determine visible ominously via tourists in Britain and the United States--and the enamel Fairy. An enjoyable source, The Dictionary of English Folklore might be a desirable spouse for readers of English literature, historical past, cultural stories, and delusion.
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Extra resources for A Dictionary of English Folklore
The so-called ‘need ﬁre’ is described by Denham, quoting his father, who died in 1843 aged 79: A disease among cattle, called the murrain, then prevailed to a very great extent through that district of Yorkshire. The cattle were made to pass through the smoke raised by this miraculous ﬁre, and their cure was looked upon as certain, and to neglect doing so was looked upon as wicked. This ﬁre was produced by violent and continued friction of two dry pieces of wood until such time as it was thereby obtained.
He also blessing the throats names the herb heliotrope as effective (book 13, chapter 6) and gives some charms (book 12, chapter 18), one of which is very similar to that reported by Charlotte Burne 400 years later (1883: 183). Verbal *charms are recorded in most of the regional folklore collections, and were clearly widespread, and there are identiﬁable groups, such as those which concern Christ being baptized in the River Jordan, and stopping the ﬂow of the water, or those which relate how Christ on the cross was wounded with a soldier’s lance.
645). blue beads. In his investigations into superstition in London at the time of the First World War, Edward Lovett discovered that all over the capital working-class people wore strings of blue beads around their necks (inside their clothes) as a prophylactic against bronchitis. He was told that these beads were put round the necks of young children, and never taken off for the rest of their lives, and that the custom extended all over the country. A note in The Hospital of 25 December 1909 (quoted by Opie and Tatem) and a letter in N&Q (160 (1931), 206) conﬁrm Lovett’s ﬁndings.
A Dictionary of English Folklore by Jacqueline Simpson