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Author Topic: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?  (Read 3206 times)

NibbleKat

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Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« on: June 05, 2012, 04:51:07 pm »
Remember those old Arthur C. Clarke TV shows that talked about ley lines and standing stones and ancient witchery in the British Isles?  

I really, really want to immerse myself in things like that.  Old folklore and divination and supernatural stuff that doesn't necessarily have to be ghostly, but more the magical side of England and the rest of Britain.

Does anyone have any suggestions for things I could pick up for my bookshelf?

Thanks!

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monsnoleedra

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 05:20:01 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;58658
Remember those old Arthur C. Clarke TV shows that talked about ley lines and standing stones and ancient witchery in the British Isles?  

I really, really want to immerse myself in things like that.  Old folklore and divination and supernatural stuff that doesn't necessarily have to be ghostly, but more the magical side of England and the rest of Britain.

Does anyone have any suggestions for things I could pick up for my bookshelf?

Thanks!

kat.


I don't recall the author of the book but I found an interesting read in a book titled OUR HAUNTED KINGDOM back in 1980.  It discussed many of the hauntings in the British Isle's but also some of the tales and lore about specific places such as bodies of water or mountains for example.  I think the author was a James Green but don't quote me on that one.

Vale

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 05:48:27 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;58658
Remember those old Arthur C. Clarke TV shows that talked about ley lines and standing stones and ancient witchery in the British Isles?  

I really, really want to immerse myself in things like that.  Old folklore and divination and supernatural stuff that doesn't necessarily have to be ghostly, but more the magical side of England and the rest of Britain.

Does anyone have any suggestions for things I could pick up for my bookshelf?

Thanks!

kat.


Katherine Briggs is one of the best but her books go for serious money nowadays. If you have access to JSTOR then there are articles by her and Ruth Tongue  which are worth tracking down.

There is a wealth of more regional publications but they tend to be  privately published, small print runs or long out of print which make them challenging to find.

Michael Howard (publisher of The Cauldron) is currently writing a series for Three Hand Press about British regional witchcraft/folklore - the first was Welsh Witches and Wizards. He has just published one on West Country witchcraft. I have the Welsh one and it is a reasonable overview of a very wide subject.    

If you have an e reader there are lots of collections of tales by the Victorian folklorists which are available free via Project Gutenberg.  Few if any are attributed but that is an on going problem even nowadays.  Walt Sikes "British Goblins" ( never was a book so misnamed) will give you a lot of the Welsh tales and is free from many sources including Sacred Texts.

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 05:58:11 pm »
Quote from: Vale;58669
Katherine Briggs is one of the best but her books go for serious money nowadays. If you have access to JSTOR then there are articles by her and Ruth Tongue  which are worth tracking down.

There is a wealth of more regional publications but they tend to be  privately published, small print runs or long out of print which make them challenging to find.

Michael Howard (publisher of The Cauldron) is currently writing a series for Three Hand Press about British regional witchcraft/folklore - the first was Welsh Witches and Wizards. He has just published one on West Country witchcraft. I have the Welsh one and it is a reasonable overview of a very wide subject.    

If you have an e reader there are lots of collections of tales by the Victorian folklorists which are available free via Project Gutenberg.  Few if any are attributed but that is an on going problem even nowadays.  Walt Sikes "British Goblins" ( never was a book so misnamed) will give you a lot of the Welsh tales and is free from many sources including Sacred Texts.


Ooh, I just looked up K. Briggs on Amazon, and I can get a lot of her books for not that much money! Er, by a lot, I mean three, but still... that's helpful.  And the Sikes one is not so expensive either...
That would cover the fairy/folklore that I'm looking for...

But maybe not so much the 1070's upsurgence in the interest in like... ley lines and weird lights and rains of frogs and all.  

Those are great to start out with, thank you so much!
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NibbleKat

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 05:59:09 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;58661
I don't recall the author of the book but I found an interesting read in a book titled OUR HAUNTED KINGDOM back in 1980.  It discussed many of the hauntings in the British Isle's but also some of the tales and lore about specific places such as bodies of water or mountains for example.  I think the author was a James Green but don't quote me on that one.


Ooh, Amazon says it's an "A. Green"!  And you can get it for two bucks! WOO HOO.
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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 06:07:28 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;58671
Ooh, I just looked up K. Briggs on Amazon, and I can get a lot of her books for not that much money! Er, by a lot, I mean three, but still... that's helpful.  And the Sikes one is not so expensive either...
That would cover the fairy/folklore that I'm looking for...

But maybe not so much the 1070's upsurgence in the interest in like... ley lines and weird lights and rains of frogs and all.  

Those are great to start out with, thank you so much!


NOt a book but a pretty good site on Ley-lines

http://www.pauldevereux.co.uk/  select Leyline from left hand margin

Vale

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 06:15:56 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;58671

 

But maybe not so much the 1070's upsurgence in the interest in like... ley lines and weird lights and rains of frogs and all.  

 
 OK for that sort of thing I haven't found anything better than the Reader's Digest book "Mysteries of the Unexplained". Yes I know but it covers all sorts of weird and wonderful things like Anne Ross's encounters with the haunted celtic heads, plagues of frogs, mysterious cloven footprints  going for miles over roofs, fields etc...

You used to be able to pick them up by the dozen for next to nothing in secondhand book stores. Probably still can!

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 05:29:22 am »
Quote from: NibbleKat;58658
I really, really want to immerse myself in things like that.  Old folklore and divination and supernatural stuff that doesn't necessarily have to be ghostly, but more the magical side of England and the rest of Britain.

Does anyone have any suggestions for things I could pick up for my bookshelf?

Okay, this is an absolutely HUGE field.  :)  Britain was one of the top centers of folklore studies, with tons of both professionals and amateurs devoted to writing about what was going down in their own backyards.

My current favorite is Jacqueline Simpson and Jennifer Westwood's AWESOME The Lore of the Land, which is a county-by-county discussion of all kinds of folk legends in England.  At the beginning of each chapter is a map, with all kinds of symbols to tell you the nature of the lore in that town/village -- witches, dragons, fairies, saints, ghosts, etc.  It's terrific.  Simpson's books in general are great--she's one of the grandes dames of British folklore studies, and very readable.

Katharine Briggs is great, too: she's most famous for her widely available work on fairy lore (which I highly recommend), but try and get hold of her 2-volume Dictionary of British Folktales.

Owen Davies' work on folk magic and on hauntings is excellent, too--try Cunning-Folk and he Haunted.

The publishers Rowman and Littlefield did a county folklore series in the 70s, with contributors including Ralph Whitlock and Ruth Tongue.

Here's a good list of older and somewhat more recent texts, both scholarly and otherwise, with a focus on ghosts and magic:
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/selected-bibliography.html
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 05:30:05 am by catja6 »

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2012, 11:51:24 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;58673
NOt a book but a pretty good site on Ley-lines

http://www.pauldevereux.co.uk/  select Leyline from left hand margin


Hey, thanks for the link! I am going to check it out on lunch today at work. :)
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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2012, 11:52:07 am »
Quote from: Vale;58675
OK for that sort of thing I haven't found anything better than the Reader's Digest book "Mysteries of the Unexplained". Yes I know but it covers all sorts of weird and wonderful things like Anne Ross's encounters with the haunted celtic heads, plagues of frogs, mysterious cloven footprints  going for miles over roofs, fields etc...

You used to be able to pick them up by the dozen for next to nothing in secondhand book stores. Probably still can!


I've got a few of the Time Life books that are very similar... at least, I  think they're Time Life... :) But they definitely are from about twenty years ago! They're still fun.
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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2012, 11:52:37 am »
Quote from: catja6;58740
Okay, this is an absolutely HUGE field.  :)  Britain was one of the top centers of folklore studies, with tons of both professionals and amateurs devoted to writing about what was going down in their own backyards.

My current favorite is Jacqueline Simpson and Jennifer Westwood's AWESOME The Lore of the Land, which is a county-by-county discussion of all kinds of folk legends in England.  At the beginning of each chapter is a map, with all kinds of symbols to tell you the nature of the lore in that town/village -- witches, dragons, fairies, saints, ghosts, etc.  It's terrific.  Simpson's books in general are great--she's one of the grandes dames of British folklore studies, and very readable.

Katharine Briggs is great, too: she's most famous for her widely available work on fairy lore (which I highly recommend), but try and get hold of her 2-volume Dictionary of British Folktales.

Owen Davies' work on folk magic and on hauntings is excellent, too--try Cunning-Folk and he Haunted.

The publishers Rowman and Littlefield did a county folklore series in the 70s, with contributors including Ralph Whitlock and Ruth Tongue.

Here's a good list of older and somewhat more recent texts, both scholarly and otherwise, with a focus on ghosts and magic:
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/selected-bibliography.html


Ooh, I was hoping you'd reply-- I have seen that you've always been able to be counted on for really, really good, extensive references. Thank you so much!
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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2012, 12:01:16 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;58784
Ooh, I was hoping you'd reply-- I have seen that you've always been able to be counted on for really, really good, extensive references. Thank you so much!


I second that nod to Davies' Cunning Folk.  The Lore of the Land looks to be a great source, and at less than $15 on Amazon it looks like a great investment.
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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2012, 12:28:24 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;58673
NOt a book but a pretty good site on Ley-lines

http://www.pauldevereux.co.uk/  select Leyline from left hand margin

 
I got an error message when I tried that link.

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2012, 12:50:35 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;58911
I got an error message when I tried that link.

Sunflower

Not sure why.  I just tried it and it worked fine for me.  I've listed it at other sites and no one has remarked on it not working for them.
 
http://www.pauldevereux.co.uk/html/body_leylines.html is what comes up in the address bar at times but that one has errored out on me in the past.  But you might try that one.

Justy a note to add:

I just tried it and both worked fine so hopefully the second one will allow you to see it.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 12:51:24 am by monsnoleedra »

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Re: Mystical England/British Isles Lore?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2012, 04:04:33 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;58914
Not sure why.  I just tried it and it worked fine for me.  I've listed it at other sites and no one has remarked on it not working for them.
 
http://www.pauldevereux.co.uk/html/body_leylines.html is what comes up in the address bar at times but that one has errored out on me in the past.  But you might try that one.

Justy a note to add:

I just tried it and both worked fine so hopefully the second one will allow you to see it.

 
Could just be me - something is giving me grief today, but I can't tell if it's the wet-new version of Firefox that just updated, or the latest NoScript add-on which ditto, or stuff Randall's been tweaking here, or some combination thereof, or what.  (Too much new, all at once, makes it hard to bughunt.)

Thanks for providing an alternative link - hopefully one or the other will work for me, if not immediately, once the renovational dust has settled.

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