A Dictionary of English Folklore

A Dictionary of English Folklore

Paperback Oxford Paperbacks

Edited by Jacqueline Simpson, Edited by Steve Roud

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 196mm x 26mm | 346g
  • Publication date: 4 August 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0198607660
  • ISBN 13: 9780198607663
  • Sales rank: 1,104,070

Product description

Are there any legends about cats? Is Cinderella an English story? What is a Mumming Play? The subject of folklore covers an extremely wide field, with connections to virtually every aspect of life. It ranges from the bizarre to the seemingly mundane. Similarly, folklore is as much a feature of the modern technological age as the ancient world, of every part of the country, both urban and rural, and of every age group and occupation. Containing 1,250 entries, from dragons to Mother Goose, May Day to Michaelmas, this reference work is an absorbing and entertaining guide to English folklore. Aimed at a broad general readership, the dictionary provides an authoritative reference source on such legendary characters as The Sandman, Jack the Giant Killer, and Robin Hood, and gives entertaining and informative explanations of a wide range of subjects in folklore, from nosebleeds and wishbones to cats and hot cross buns.' From an exemplary, clear, and concise introduction to an admirably comprehensive, yet selective, bibliography, but above all from more than 1,250 A-Z entries in between, it is good to know that Oxford University Press can still commission and publish new standard reference titles...A welcome degree of scholarly rigour...coverage is excellent...the quallity of the entries is also outstanding...It is all very readable, concise, and clear throughout - another one of those reference works one can wish to read from cover to cover...a huge amount of fascinating material in this clearly and attractively designed, deceptively concise and reasonably priced volume. It becomes at once a new standard reference book in its field...As such it belongs in any reference collection in or about England, and any collection dealing with folklore.' Library Review

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Author information

Steve Roud is Local Studies Librarian for Croydon and was Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for over 15 years. He is the author of Mumming Plays in Oxfordshire and has compiled the index to the Journal Folklore 1968-1992. 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 Susex, Folklore of the Welsh Bordersm, and Scandinavian Folktales.

Review quote

"The authors, esteemed British folklore experts with many publications to their credit, include a broad range of oral genres, calendar customs, festivals, life-cycle customs, and supernatural and superstitious beliefs.... All are provided with dependable information and references, and the many See and See Also citations add considerably to the book's richness as a reference source."--Library Journal"A unique contribution to the body of work about folklore."--Booklist"Superb...every time I dip into it I find myself gripped by item after item that I had no intention of reading."--Richard Morrison, The Times [London]

Table of contents

ENTRIES INCLUDE: ADDERS, ASTROLOGY; BROWNIES; CHANGELINGS; DEVIL'S HOOFPRINTS; FOOTBALL; GRIMM BROTHERS; HAG-RIDING; JENNY GREENTEETH; LADYBIRDS; MR FOX; NOSEBLEEDS; PHANTOM COACH/SHIP; ROLLRIGHT STONES; SEVEN WHISTLERS; TOOTH FAIRY; V-SIGN; WISHBONE