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Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain

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This is an endlessly fascinating book that is perfect for dipping in and out of. It's a bit like a massive folklore magazine, rather than a book you'd sit down and read from cover to cover. The book is split into three parts - the first covers ancient superstitions, creatures, plants and festivals. The second (largest) section covers regional stories from across Great Brit This is an endlessly fascinating book that is perfect for dipping in and out of. It's a bit like a massive folklore magazine, rather than a book you'd sit down and read from cover to cover. The book is split into three parts - the first covers ancient superstitions, creatures, plants and festivals. The second (largest) section covers regional stories from across Great Britain and the Isle of Man, such as alleged hauntings, origins of place names and local festivals. The final section describes key figures in British folklore. It's a huge book but very easy to read and illustrated with drawings and black and white photos throughout. The book summarises stories and describes myths and folklore in a highly readable, matter-of-fact way. There are lots of interesting explanations about how current day festivals, phrases and superstitions may have developed.


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This is an endlessly fascinating book that is perfect for dipping in and out of. It's a bit like a massive folklore magazine, rather than a book you'd sit down and read from cover to cover. The book is split into three parts - the first covers ancient superstitions, creatures, plants and festivals. The second (largest) section covers regional stories from across Great Brit This is an endlessly fascinating book that is perfect for dipping in and out of. It's a bit like a massive folklore magazine, rather than a book you'd sit down and read from cover to cover. The book is split into three parts - the first covers ancient superstitions, creatures, plants and festivals. The second (largest) section covers regional stories from across Great Britain and the Isle of Man, such as alleged hauntings, origins of place names and local festivals. The final section describes key figures in British folklore. It's a huge book but very easy to read and illustrated with drawings and black and white photos throughout. The book summarises stories and describes myths and folklore in a highly readable, matter-of-fact way. There are lots of interesting explanations about how current day festivals, phrases and superstitions may have developed.

30 review for Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Grewcock

    This book used to belong to my grandmother and was a favourite of mine from the time I learned to read. It's a reference book of a sort that seems to be out of fashion now, but this, of course, only adds to its perennial appeal. It was always tucked on a bottom bookshelf behind the TV in the living room and I would make a bee-line for it whenever we visited. I pored over the gorgeous and spooky Robin Jacques illustrations and imbibed a whole host of stories which make up a parallel history of th This book used to belong to my grandmother and was a favourite of mine from the time I learned to read. It's a reference book of a sort that seems to be out of fashion now, but this, of course, only adds to its perennial appeal. It was always tucked on a bottom bookshelf behind the TV in the living room and I would make a bee-line for it whenever we visited. I pored over the gorgeous and spooky Robin Jacques illustrations and imbibed a whole host of stories which make up a parallel history of the British Isles. The book passed to me when she died a few years back and still bears her name on the inside front page, as well as the evocative, tobacco-tinged scent of my grandfather's 60-a-day habit. I'm nearly forty now and hope I'll still be as captivated by its magic another 25 years down the line.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    First of all I will have to admit I have been reading this book off and on for many years - this is one of those books you cannot read from cover to cover in one sitting or even many sittings I just think there is too much to take in. What you do instead is get comfortable making sure you have several hours free ahead of you and dive in - there are so many things in this books from local legends to maps of locations in each region (they cover several counties) to specific articles on a related s First of all I will have to admit I have been reading this book off and on for many years - this is one of those books you cannot read from cover to cover in one sitting or even many sittings I just think there is too much to take in. What you do instead is get comfortable making sure you have several hours free ahead of you and dive in - there are so many things in this books from local legends to maps of locations in each region (they cover several counties) to specific articles on a related subject such as the significance of flowers and plants. I have no idea how long it took the authors and editors to put this book together but it is not a light tomb this is a reference book with no boundaries or limits. The edition I have was printed a year after I was born and I still think it is as fascinating now as it was the day it was published - I think really its cheeky of me to put a read date here as I suspect every time I pick it up I will find more in its pages

  3. 4 out of 5

    N.J. Ramsden

    I grew up reading this. It was the first book I tried (and failed) to eat. It was the first book that really scared me, that seared into my developing brain with its illustrations like brands, that populated my nascent subconscious with its mixture of tradition, prophecy, hauntings, tales of strange beasts... all the better to make you a writer, my dear. If I had to take just one book - just one - to a desert island, well, screw Shakespeare and beggar the Bible, I'd take this. What you get is broa I grew up reading this. It was the first book I tried (and failed) to eat. It was the first book that really scared me, that seared into my developing brain with its illustrations like brands, that populated my nascent subconscious with its mixture of tradition, prophecy, hauntings, tales of strange beasts... all the better to make you a writer, my dear. If I had to take just one book - just one - to a desert island, well, screw Shakespeare and beggar the Bible, I'd take this. What you get is broadly an anthology of folklore from around Britain, arranged by area, then by specific location. There are plenty of truly wonderful images, both drawn and photographed, and the stories are often lucidly and engagingly written. There are also thematic sections, but the study of tales by place is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this book. Always a hidden gem somewhere unexpected.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Empath Warrior

    What a lovely book! I am super excited about my 1977 Britain Folklore book that just smells like old book. I would definitely recommend this book to those traveling to England or the surrounding area(s) as it gives tons of folklore and maps of places to go. It would be a huge advantage to have this book while prepping to travel to these parts.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Leveret

    A wonderful treasury of carefully presented anecdotes and stories, beautifully illustrated and compiled in an easily-digested format. If you're interested in Britain's folklore, myths and legends I highly recommend this tome; I have already purchased two copies as gifts! A wonderful treasury of carefully presented anecdotes and stories, beautifully illustrated and compiled in an easily-digested format. If you're interested in Britain's folklore, myths and legends I highly recommend this tome; I have already purchased two copies as gifts!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    This is one of my best ever bookshop bargains. It has been a source of inspiration for many of my stories and poems. My only quibble is that the Black Country seems to be neglected - I'm sure there must be some interesting myths and legends from around there. This is one of my best ever bookshop bargains. It has been a source of inspiration for many of my stories and poems. My only quibble is that the Black Country seems to be neglected - I'm sure there must be some interesting myths and legends from around there.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Ok so maybe I didn’t read this one properly. I did in the beginning, because it is quite interesting. However, I mainly picked this up (again from a charity shop) because I thought it might help with my Wiccan research. It has a little, but as it went on I felt myself growing bored, which made me reluctant to read it. So instead, I skimmed over everything I found interesting or relevant. There is no option on good reads for dnf so I guess I’ll have to count it as ‘read’ because I have technicall Ok so maybe I didn’t read this one properly. I did in the beginning, because it is quite interesting. However, I mainly picked this up (again from a charity shop) because I thought it might help with my Wiccan research. It has a little, but as it went on I felt myself growing bored, which made me reluctant to read it. So instead, I skimmed over everything I found interesting or relevant. There is no option on good reads for dnf so I guess I’ll have to count it as ‘read’ because I have technically read some of its many, many pages.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I read this book as a kid; as soon as I opened it the other day I recognized it immediately and its been probably over twenty years. Borrowed this copy from Interlibrary Loan. Packed full of fun myths, legends and ghost stories from all over the Isles. It's like an encyclopedia, so it is easy to read bits and pieces at a time. There is a key for every section: myths, monsters, ghosts, witches, etc. All the old, good stories are in it, too: screaming skulls, huntsmen, etc. Not to be missed. I thi I read this book as a kid; as soon as I opened it the other day I recognized it immediately and its been probably over twenty years. Borrowed this copy from Interlibrary Loan. Packed full of fun myths, legends and ghost stories from all over the Isles. It's like an encyclopedia, so it is easy to read bits and pieces at a time. There is a key for every section: myths, monsters, ghosts, witches, etc. All the old, good stories are in it, too: screaming skulls, huntsmen, etc. Not to be missed. I think it would be a popular reprint.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dorian

    I asked for this book for Christmas, the first edition, when I was ten years old. I have it still. For a child obsessed with folk, fairy and fantastic tales of all kinds, as well as geography, it was the perfect gift. It's probably the book I've read most often and which has done more to inform the person I've become than anything else I've read. I asked for this book for Christmas, the first edition, when I was ten years old. I have it still. For a child obsessed with folk, fairy and fantastic tales of all kinds, as well as geography, it was the perfect gift. It's probably the book I've read most often and which has done more to inform the person I've become than anything else I've read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Em

    Good to open and browse at random, rather than to read start to finish. Used it to make several folklore maps in spring 2017. Really comprehensive and reliable with a huge wealth of info!

  11. 5 out of 5

    H.E. Bulstrode

    As with one of the other reviewers, a copy of this book once belonged to my grandmother, and as a child I spent many happy hours poring over its pages, entranced by both the stories that it contained and its equally beguiling illustrations, many of which recreated the look of traditional woodcuts. It was therefore a delight to receive a copy of this book from my partner a couple of Christmases ago, for I have been rediscovering it as an adult, and, if anything, find it to be more enchanting than As with one of the other reviewers, a copy of this book once belonged to my grandmother, and as a child I spent many happy hours poring over its pages, entranced by both the stories that it contained and its equally beguiling illustrations, many of which recreated the look of traditional woodcuts. It was therefore a delight to receive a copy of this book from my partner a couple of Christmases ago, for I have been rediscovering it as an adult, and, if anything, find it to be more enchanting than I did the first time around. Its section covering the different counties of Britain provides snippets of tales that enhance and enrich the localities with which they are associated, lending a colour to them that formal histories - whilst excellent in themselves - lack. This book provides an endless stimulus to the imagination, particularly for the author who happens to be seeking to inject a local and authentic air into novels or shorter tales that possess a hint of the uncanny or the supernatural. Many of the stories themselves are ripe to be worked up into something more substantial. Although 'The Fabled Coast' - a more recent publication - focuses upon some of the same subject matter associated specifically with the coastal regions of the British Isles, it is a complementary rather than a successor volume to Russell Ash's early seventies treasure trove. Both though, are to be recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    Perfect

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul Ballantyne

    seeds for my imagination. totally recommended, if you like this sort of brain pain.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Crooked English

  15. 4 out of 5

    Logan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Ash

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jönathan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Glyn

  19. 4 out of 5

    Murnau’s stolen skull

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Farley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  23. 5 out of 5

    HobbitGirl

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steve Brooker

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Wolfe

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Hailstone

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alex-kate-leonard

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