A Dictionary of English Folklore

A Dictionary of English Folklore

Book - 2001
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Oxford University Press
Ever wonder why we kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas or think a rabbit's foot brings good luck? In this informative volume, two folklore authorities provide reliable and often surprising answers to these and other curiosities that have shaped daily life in England for centuries. Comprising 1,250 entries, this dictionary explores the festivals and past celebrations of the English calendar, from St. Andrews Day and its tradition of drunkenness and cross-dressing to Twelfth Night and its king and queen cake. It also provides concise portraits of real and legendary characters that populate the public memory, including Robin Hood, The Brothers Grimm, Lady Godiva, Puck, and The Sandman. And just as folklore encompasses the mundane as well as the fantastic, numerous other entries illuminate the significance of colors, numbers, flowers, animals, and household objects. In addition to ancient and medieval folklore, readers will find many contemporary urban legends, such as the vanishing hitchhiker--an ominous figure seen by travelers in Britain and the United States--and the Tooth Fairy.

Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2001
ISBN: 9780198603986
0198603983
Characteristics: p. cm
Additional Contributors: Roud, Stephen

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