You might have noticed that each Thursday for the last year, when someone recommends a book with the #FolkloreThursday hashtag, we reply with: ‘Added to the book list.’ So far, this mysterious list of recommended folklore books has been closeted away, hidden from those #FolkloreThursday-ers who wish to browse its wonders. No longer! Here is the book list, in all its glory, and we will continue to add as many of your recommendations as possible each week, covering topics from creation myths, to the history of folklore, folklife, folk art, legends to fairy tales.*
The lovely thing about the book list is that each time you click on one of the book cover images below, you will automatically be taken to the relevant book page on Amazon.co.uk – when you purchase the book we get up to 10% of the purchase price from them – all at no cost to you. So, if you would like to support #FolkloreThursday – without costing you even an extra penny – then get clicking! (If you do have extra pennies that you’re happy to use to support us, we’d love you to check out our Patreon page, where you can support us with a small subscription each month.) It’s worth noting that ad blockers might stop books from appearing on these pages.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
With the echo of that chilling injunction hundreds were accused and tried for witchcraft across England throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. With fear and suspicion rife, neighbour could turn against neighbour, friend against friend, with women, men and children alike caught up in the deadly fervour that swept through both village and town. From the feared covens of Pendle Forest to the victims of the unswerving fanaticism of The Witch Finder General, so-called witches were suspected, accused, and dragged into the spotlight to await judgement and their final fate.
Did you know, in Yorkshire it was believed a person lying on a pillow stuffed with pigeon’s feathers could not die? Or that green is an unlucky colour for wedding dresses—in Scotland they would not even serve green vegetables at the wedding breakfast? In the West Country, the seventh son of a seventh son has the power to cure ringworm. You’ve heard about St. George, but how about the Green Man, who was believed to rule over the natural world? Or Black Shuck, the giant ghostly dog who was reputed to roam East Anglia? As well as looking at the history of this subject, this book has a directory of places you can go to see folklore alive and well today. The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival, for example, or wassailing cider orchards in Somerset.
And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Willow Winsham‘s book Accused: British Witches Throughout History!
The image of the witch – crook-nosed, unpleasant of disposition and with a penchant for harming her neighbours – is well established in the popular imagination. For hundreds of years the accusation of witchcraft has been levelled against women throughout the British Isles: such women were feared, persecuted, revered and reviled, with many ending their journeys at the stake or noose. Far from a mass of pitiable, faceless victims however, each case tells its own story, with a distinct woman at its heart, spanning the centuries down to the present. What did it really mean to be accused as a witch? Why, and by whom, were such accusations made? Was it possible to survive, and what awaited those who did? Meticulously researched and skilfully and painstakingly woven, this book will be indispensable to anyone with an interest in the popular topic of the history of witchcraft and a love of fascinating and diverse individuals. Setting each of the accused in their social and historical context, Willow Winsham delivers a fresh and revealing look at her subjects, bringing her unique style and passion for detail to this captivating read.
General Folklore Books
Folk Art & Folk Music Books
Folklore and Archaeology
Select a category below to see more folklore books!
New titles are added every week so do check back regularly!
* Items can only be added if genuinely recommended on the hashtag day, and unfortunately not at the request of the author, publisher, author’s friends, long-lost aunt, or the publisher’s dog. If you would like to recommend a book for the list, please post the title and picture (or Amazon link) on Twitter next Thursday with the hashtag #FolkloreThursday – we’ll add as many recommendations as we can!