Observations on Popular Antiquities: Volume 2

Observations on Popular Antiquities: Volume 2 : Chiefly Illustrating the Origin of our Vulgar Customs, Ceremonies and Superstitions

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John Brand (1744-1806), secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, first published his widely popular Observations on Popular Antiquities in 1777. This fascinating two-volume almanac of British superstitions and customs was in fact a heavily revised and annotated version of Henry Bourne's Antiquitates vulgares (1725). Volume 2 of Brand's almanac concerns the origins and practices of British customs and ceremonies including marriage customs, death rites, belief in fairies, witchcraft, omens, and divination. The volume also provides explanations for obscure but common phrases and expressions. Following the success of the book's initial reception, Brand continued to research English folklore with the intention of publishing fuller information. This two-volume version, published posthumously in 1813, was edited and expanded by Sir Henry Ellis, Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum, and further revisions also appeared in 1841 and 1870. Brand's book is regarded as the foundation for folklore studies in England.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 1139094556
  • 9781139094559

Table of contents

Customs and Ceremonies: Child-bearing, churching, and christening customs; Marriage customs and ceremonies; Customs at deaths; Of bowing towards the altar or communion table on entering the church; Drinking customs; Barbers' signs; Tobacco in ale houses; Custom and superstitions concerning wells and fountains; Notices concerning sports and games; Popular notices concerning cards; Sports of sailors; Fairs; Of the meaning of the old saw, 'Five score or men, money, and pins, six score of all other things'; Fairy mythology; Popular notions concerning the apparition of the devil; Sorcery or witchcraft; Ghosts or apparitions; Gipsies; Obsolete vulgar punishments; Omens; Charms; Divination; Vulgar errors; Neck verse; Bishop in the pan; Dining with Duke Humphrey; Miller's thumb; Turning cat in pan; Putting the miller's eye out; To bear the bell; To pluck a crow with any one; Of certain other obscure phrases and common expressions; Of the phenomenon vulgarly called Will, or Kitty with a wisp, or Jack with a lanthorn.
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