Folklore and Nation in Britain and Ireland  book cover
1st Edition

Folklore and Nation in Britain and Ireland

ISBN 9780367440961
Published August 31, 2021 by Routledge
326 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This collection explores folklore and folkloristics within the diverse and contested national discourses of Britain and Ireland, examining their role in shaping the islands’ constituent nations from the eighteenth century to our contemporary moment of uncertainty and change.

This book is concerned with understanding folklore, particularly through its intersections with the narratives of nation entwined within art, literature, disciplinary practice and lived experience. By following these ideas throughout history into the twenty-first century, the authors show how notions of the folk have inspired and informed varied points from the Brothers Grimm to Brexit. They also examine how folklore has been adapting to the real and imagined changes of recent political events, acquiring newfound global and local rhetorical power. This collection asks why, when and how folklore has been deployed, enacted and considered in the context of national ideologies and ideas of nationhood in Britain and Ireland.

Editors Cheeseman and Hart have crafted a thoughtful and timely collection, ideal for students and scholars of folklore, history, literature, anthropology, sociology and media studies.

Table of Contents

1          Introduction

            Matthew Cheeseman


2          Grimm ripples: the role of the Grimms’ Deutsche Sagen in the collection and creation of national folk narratives in Northern Europe

            Terry Gunnell


3          Forest murmurs: wood and wild in the making of England

            Jeremy Harte


4          ‘The Last Earl of Hallamshire’: legend, landscape and identity in South Yorkshire

            David Clarke


5          Anarchy in the UK: Haddon and the anarchist agenda in the Anglo-Irish folklore movement

Ciarán Walsh


6          ‘Powerful and sovereign medicines … virulent poisons also’: Arthur Machen, occultism, and the Celtic Revival

Felix Taylor


7          Visions of English identity: the country dance and Shakespeare-land

            Derek Schofield


8          Embodied Englishness in the inter-war morris revival

Matt Simons


9          A Scottish Volk? Folklore, anthropology, race and nationalism in inter-war Scotland

Katie Meheux


10        Photographic surveys of calendar customs: preserving identity in times of change

Andrew Robinson


11        Folklore as McGuffin: British folklore and Margaret Murray in a 1930 crime novel and beyond

Paul Cowdell


12        Et in arcadia ego: British folk horror film and television

Diane A Rodgers


13        Bloody Europe: Brexit and the making of a myth

Tabitha Peterken


14        Folkloric landscapes and the heroic outlaw in Britain and Ireland

Carina Hart


15        ‘Our community could start our own traditions’: the commingling of religion, politics, and the folkloresque in a far right groupuscule

Andrew Fergus Wilson


16        Blood, blots and belonging: English Heathens their (ab)uses of folklore

Kate Smith


17        The Tale of Hanan the Tailor: storytelling in times of change

Shonaleigh Cumbers and Simon Heywood

View More



Matthew Cheeseman is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at University of Derby. He is a Council member of The Folklore Society and a trustee of Bloc Projects. He runs a small press, Spirit Duplicator.

Carina Hart is Assistant Professor in Applied English at the University of Nottingham. She specialises in global Gothic folkloric and fairy tale literature, and has also published on Romantic poetry and on fairy tale and alchemy in contemporary fiction.