By Jacqueline Simpson
With 1250 entries starting from dragons to mom Goose, may perhaps Day to Michaelmas, this captivating dictionary unfurls the colourful heritage in the back of the vacations, customs, legends, and superstitious ideals of britain. Ever ask yourself why we kiss below the mistletoe at Christmas or imagine a rabbit's foot brings stable good fortune? folklore specialists supply trustworthy and sometimes impressive solutions to those and different curiosities that experience formed everyday life in England for hundreds of years. They discover the fairs and earlier 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. additionally they offer concise pictures of actual and mythical characters that populate the general public reminiscence, together with Robin Hood, The Brothers Grimm, woman Godiva, Puck, and The Sandman. Fairies, mermaids, hobgoblins, and changelings are yet a number of the supernatural forces surveyed right here. even though, as folklore encompasses the mundane in addition to the glorious, quite a few different entries remove darkness from the importance of colours, numbers, flora, animals, and family gadgets. study the curious background at the back of our mistrust of the "black sheep," renowned credence in "wishbone" needs, folks therapies for nosebleeds and warts, and chronic outdated better halves' stories.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 noticeable ominously through tourists in Britain and the United States--and the teeth Fairy. An unique source, The Dictionary of English Folklore can be a desirable significant other for readers of English literature, heritage, cultural experiences, and delusion.
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Additional resources for A Dictionary of English Folklore
Berkeley, the witch of. The medieval chronicler William of Malmesbury, writing in the 1120s, tells how, in 1065, a woman living at Berkeley (Gloucestershire) who was skilled in witchcraft was warned by her pet jackdaw 22 that death was at hand. She begged her family to protect her body by sewing it up in a stag’s hide and laying it in a stone cofﬁn fastened with three chains, which must stand in the church for three nights, after which it could be buried. But the plan failed; each night one chain was broken by demons, till ﬁnally the Devil dragged her out of the church and set her on ‘a black horse .
Purcell, Onward Christian Soldier: A Life of Sabine Baring-Gould (1957). Barley-Break. A popular chasing game, mentioned often in literary sources of the 16th to 18th centuries, played either by children or young people of both sexes. The game reconstructed by the Opies involved three mixed-sex pairs of players. One pair stood in the middle of the playing area (called ‘hell’), and one pair stood at each end. The two end pairs had to change partners, without being caught by the middle pair, and the latter had to hold hands throughout.
Formerly, the related words bogey, *bogle, *boggart, *bugbear, and their variants were common in rural speech all over England. They were all scarey creatures, whose exact nature was not deﬁned; most collectors (and some informants) classiﬁed them as fairies, 29 but there are instances where ghosts and localized minor demons are referred to by the same terms. Examples will be found in most regional collections. Descriptions of their appearance and behaviour differ from one tale to the next, though shape-changing is a standard feature (see *brag, *guytrash).
A Dictionary of English Folklore by Jacqueline Simpson