Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

London Lore: The legends and traditions of the world's most vibrant city
 
See larger image
 

London Lore: The legends and traditions of the world's most vibrant city [Kindle Edition]

Steve Roud
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £4.68 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.31 (53%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

‹  Return to Product Overview

Product Description

Review

"a wonderful collection of stories and legends, to be recommended to anyone who is at least half in love with the dark side of London's past." (Peter Ackroyd The Times)

"[An] absorbing compendium by folklore expert Steve Roud. He excavates the history of the capital, from obscure suburban streets to famous sites like the Tower of London" (The London Paper)

"I've been enthralled ... The book's real strength lies [in] its exposure of deeper levels of custom, tradition and magical thinking that lie beneath the smooth Tarmac of contemporary realism" (Will Self Evening Standard)

"A spellbinding study of our city's folklore ... digs through layers of hearsay and speculation to investigate how and why the stories and traditions arose in the first place" (Newham Recorder)

"An absorbing and fascinatingly thorough book" (Harrow Observer)

Book Description

Discover the colourful traditions and bizarre superstitions of the world's most vibrant city

Product Description

In which part of North London were wild beasts once thought to roam the sewers?


Why did 1920s working-class Londoners wear necklaces of blue beads?


Who was the original inspiration for the 'pearly king' costume?


And did Spring-heeled Jack, scourge of Victorian London, ever really exist?



Exploring everything from local superstitions and ghost stories to annual customs, this is an enchanting guide to the ancient legends and deep-rooted beliefs that can be found the length and breadth of the city.

From the Inside Flap

Few places are so steeped in folklore as London, a city with almost as many ancient legends and deep-rooted customs as it has streets and landmarks. In London Lore leading folklorist Steve Roud brings together an astonishingly rich selection of stories about fabled events, heroes and villains, tales of ghosts and witches, and accounts of local supersitions and beliefs. His range extends right across the capital, from Hampstead in the north, where wild beasts were once thought to roam the sewers, to Anerley Wood in the south, haunt of the much feared Norwood Gypsies, and from Hounslow Heath with its notorious highwaymen to Bethnal Green, long associated with Earl Henry de Montfort, better known as the Blind Beggar.

But London Lore does more than simply retell these stories and traditions; it also delves through layers of hearsay and speculation to investigate how and why they arose in the first place. In the process, it shows how the familiar story of Dick Whittington and his cat has connections with the ancient Middle East. It explains why lions rather than ravens at the Tower of London were once felt to be inextricably bound up with the city's fate. It pinpoints precisely where the story of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, was first recorded. And it explores the origins of the once widespread custom of handing out 'farthing bundles' of ribbons, buttons and beads to poor children in the East End. Some of these stories and beliefs are shown to have their origins in actual historical events; others to have stemmed from contemporary preoccupations and fears. What they all reveal is the powerful hold that London has exerted on the popular imagination over the centuries, as each successive generation has reshaped existing tales and added new ones of its own.

From the Back Cover

In which part of North London were wild beasts once thought to roam the sewers?

Why did 1920s working-class Londoners wear necklaces of blue beads?

Who was the original inspiration for the 'pearly king' costume?

And did Spring-heeled Jack, scourge of Victorian London, ever really exist?

Exploring everything from local superstitions, to ghost stories, to annual customs, this is an enchanting guide to the ancient legends and deep-rooted beliefs that can be found the length and breadth of the city.

'... to be recommended to anyone who is at least half in love with the dark side of London's past.'

Peter Ackroyd, The Times

About the Author

Steve Roud recently retired from his position as Local Studies Librarian for the London Borough of Croydon and has served as Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for over fifteen years. He has been researching British folklore for over thirty years and is the joint author of the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore. His other books include the Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland, which won the Katherine Briggs Folklore Award in 2004, Monday's Child is Fair of Face ... and other traditional beliefs about babies and motherhood and The English Year, a month-by-month guide to festivals. He also compiles the Folk Song Index and the Broadside Index, two internationally acclaimed computer databases of traditional folk and popular song.
‹  Return to Product Overview