The folklore and folk tales of the British Isles make for an endlessly fascinating study. A glorious confusion of ancient beliefs has evolved over the millennia thanks to the many different races that have settled here. In England these have included Stone Age and Bonze Age tribes, the Iron Age Celts, then Romans, Angles, Saxons, Norsemen and Normans.
Into this cultural melting pot have been thrown any number of superstitions and half-remembered tales of cultural heroes, some real, some mythical, and many a mixture of both.
Our ancestors lived very different lives to those we enjoy today. Most were tied to the land and had an intimate relationship with the seasons and the natural world. Few had travelled further than their nearest market town, many had never even strayed that far from the rustic landscape they knew so well.
Nevertheless, their seemingly limited existence was coloured with an awareness of another world, one where supernatural beings lived alongside them, just out of sight; where illness or death could be brought about not by microbes but by witchcraft; where familiar landmarks took on mystical significance. Heroes and villains from a past age lived again in dramatic legends told down the generations, while neighbouring communities were ridiculed by village wits, who invented tall tales about their idiocy and gullibility.
Robin Hood is, of course, Nottinghamshire’s most famous folk hero and his legend has become well known throughout the world. There is a considerable heritage of folklore regarding the merry outlaw throughout the county. The evolution of his legend is fascinating to explore and one could take a very rewarding tour round all the places named after him.
However, there is far more to the lore of Nottinghamshire than just one man. This book is just a taster of the wealth of legends and superstitions which enlivened the imaginations of the county’s rural residents a century or more ago.
The folklore of Nottinghamshire paints the county as a delightfully magical place. I hope you enjoy this brief tour through its wonders.
Released: April 2015
Size: 180 x 110mm