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.
The great Victorian fairy fascination held its grip over culture into the early 20th century. In the wake of the Cottingley photographs, the dark folkloric sprites had seemingly transformed into benign nursery beings.
According to some, leaving shoes on the table is a harbinger of death. This originates from the practice of honouring fatalities in the mining industry.
In 1838, the year Queen Victoria came to the throne, London was bedevilled by a clawed, fire-breathing, shape-shifting demon popularly known as Spring-heeled Jack. A rather haphazard creation of local gossip, newspaper reports, and penny dreadful fiction, this urban legend, once largely forgotten, is now being revived through a contemporary interest in steampunk and reimagined […]