You’re obviously already interested enough to know what folklore is, right? Yet the more we look at folklore, the less confident we can be about straightforward certainties.
2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the Centre for Myth Studies at the University of Essex.
Who are the folk, and what is their lore? Humans have been making and sharing culture from the time we first looked up at the stars and told stories about them, sang a lullaby to a fussy child, or shared a recipe.
British regional folklorists of the 19th century remain, in many cases, rather obscure figures. Margaret Helen James (1859–1938) deserves particular attention for using her writing about folklore to give a voice to ordinary women and critique a patriarchal society, but until 2017 James was completely forgotten.
Dr. Lynne S. McNeill explains what folklore is, and what folklorists do.