The Lore of Scotland
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The Lore of Scotland : A Guide to Scottish Legends

4.27 (55 ratings on Goodreads)
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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 40mm | 359.99g
  • Cornerstone
  • ARROW BOOKS LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations, maps
  • 0099547163
  • 9780099547167
  • 129,563

About Jennifer Beatrice Westwood

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.show more

Review quote

"Within a few minutes of this book arriving, I had put bookmarks in five places and was roaring through the index. A lovely compilation. It's the real macabre" -- Terry Pratchett "An enthralling treasure chest of Scottish myths and legends ... With this incredible collection, Westwood and Kingshill have ensured that ... the stories of the past have now been preserved for future generations" Daily Record "This is a well researched book exploring the rich folklore of Scotland ... The breadth and range of this book is wide ... Amusing and erudite, it's also an excellent guide to local variations in Scottish culture" Sunday Telegraph "A fascinating read which looks at mythical beings from kelpies and waterhorses to modern-day vampires" Scottish Sunday Mail "A perfect book to read as the winter nights begin drawing in, and the mists settle, the pipes play and the creatures and myths we can only half imagine come to haunt and intrigue us. An impressively researched book which genuinely will exercise your beliefs" -- Gilda O'Neillshow more

Review Text

"Within a few minutes of this book arriving, I had put bookmarks in five places and was roaring through the index. A lovely compilation. It's the real macabre"show more

Back cover copy

'Within a few minutes of this book arriving, I had put bookmarks in five places and was roaring through the index. A lovely compilation. It's the real macabre' Sir Terry Pratchett 'A fascinating read which looks at mythical beings from kelpies and waterhorses to modern-day vampires' Scottish Sunday Mail 'a rich compendium of tall tales and traditions' Times Literary Supplement 'this book is a magical ride through the traditions and beliefs that are our precious heritage' Scots Magazine Exploring everything from ghost stories and witch trials to annual customs, this is a beguiling guide to the ancient legends and deep-rooted beliefs that haunt the castles, villages, lochs, mountains and glens of the Scottish landscape. 'This beautiful book must be one of the most comprehensive collections of Scottish folklore and legend ever compiled' Scottish Home & Countryshow more
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