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One for Sorrow: A Book of Old-Fashioned Lore Hardcover – 8 Sep 2011

77 customer reviews

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One for Sorrow: A Book of Old-Fashioned Lore + Red Sky at Night: The Book of Lost Country Wisdom + Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (8 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843177005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843177005
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.1 x 12.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

fascinating (Woman's Weekly)

Shows just how much our language is influenced by old stories (The Irish Sun)

a charming little book (Oddfellows Magazine)

About the Author

Chloe Rhodes is a freelance writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The Telegraph, The Times and The Independent on Sunday, as well as in several other national publications. Her previous books include A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi: Words We Pinched From Other Languages. Although she grew up in Greater London, she has an inherited love of folklore: one side of her family were fenland farmers who relied on weather lore for their livelihoods, and the other took pride in passing down the songs and legends of their Irish ancestry.

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pete F. TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was an enjoyable read. I found most, if not all, of the sayings that I am familiar with inside its covers. It's one of those books that you can pick up and dip into whenever you have a few moments to spare. Whilst it may not give an encyclopedic account of a sayings origins, it certainly enables you to gain an insight into how or why they have been passed down. I was interested to find out that quite a few have now been validated by scientific research. A good example of this is "St Swithun's day if thou dost rain ...." which has been found to have a pretty sound scientific basis. Apparently in mid-July the jet stream tends to settle into position for the summer, and if by 15 July it's on a southerly pathway, bringing rain, it will often stay that way until the end of August. I think that overall this book has made me even more aware of how completely out of touch we are nowadays with the world that we live in. There are many illustrations by the leading English wood engraver, Thomas Bewick, reproduced throughout the book which add to the pleasure of reading its text.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By elsie purdon TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book is a lovely size to hold and is a hardback with an attractive paper cover.
I can't quite decide who this book is best aimed at. It's one of those books you dip in and out of really,as it lacks enough breadth and detail to be a reference book. I kept thinking it actually would be a great book for children, but it is clearly written for adults.

The explanation for some of the sayings seem a bit obvious, or maybe that's my generation? I think we were taught this kind of thing at school, and also we had those wonderful Ladybird books that were easy to read alone. Having said that some of the examples do have a lot of detail and delve back into history to when the sayings were first recorded. I have learned some interesting details from this book. eg "Red Sky At Night" goes back to the fourteenth century where it appears in John Wycliffe"s Bible.. Also that the reason for the red sky at night and red sky in the morning is given here: redness is seen in the sky opposite the sun when light rays hit water droplets in the atmosphere! Useful for knowing whether or not to bring in the sheep.

Many sayings are in fact attempts at long term weather predictions which must have been invaluable for the farmers, did they work I wonder?

A personal favourite is: n'er cast a clout til May is out...... I've been told that a clout is/was specifically a vest,(in the book it says a winter layer of clothing but I like the exactness of vest) and have found this a useful guide, anyone with me on this? :-)

The book has beautiful illustrations that are little engravings by Thomas Bewick, the leading wood engraver of his day. 18th century.

Its not a book I would ever buy for myself, but would make a good gift.
and I think a children's edition would be a great idea.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Russell VINE VOICE on 17 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are many books of this type available - a number of proverbs/sayings have been selected and we are told of their origins, meanings and common variants. This particular example of the genre, however is particularly pleasing. The small format is comfortable in the hand, the entries are not overlong and ably researched and the pages are decorated with a number of Bewick woodcuts - which are always a delight. Most of the sayings were familiar, but there were a few surprises, all entertaining. There isn't much more to be said - if you know anyone with an interest in language or folklore, they would appreciate this as a gift, if you can be persuaded to part with it. A great treat.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Pittam VINE VOICE on 17 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a well-produced little book, good quality binding and paper - very suitable as a gift. The author is, apparently, a journalist who has had a life-long fascination for 'Old Wives' Tales' and similar folklore, gained from her Fenland ancestors.

The book explains traditional sayings and superstitions and is deceptively well-researched. Each saying is explained in detail, giving the earliest point at which it appears in written English, and the possible date when it might have arisen in oral history before that. It is charmingly illustrated by Charles Bewick, one of the greatest artists in woodcut, and is worth having for the pictures alone.

Suitable for writers or those who just love folklore, or tidbits of language and history. However, the best bit about this book is that it's a suitable present for that notoriously difficult section of the general public - a DAD. Dads, get it on your Christmas list now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Champak VINE VOICE on 20 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sweet April showers, do spring May flowers. Do you know origin of this saying? Do you know how this saying came about? If not, then this is a perfect book for you. This book tries to simplify the origin of sayings which dates back to mediaeval ages. It is suitable for children and old alike. It is good to read for fun, education and study. It is a perfect book to have in every household whether you like to read or not, you won't regret to have it in your library. Leave it on a table, and it is bound to generate good discussion. It is excellent for the nights of family get together, or waiting in airport or stuck in miserable rainy day.
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