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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
27

on 26 January 2017
They had a copy of this book in my school library, and I spent so many lunchtimes reading it on grey days, rainy days, days when I could have been outside in the sun. I felt like within it was a treasure trove, a mysterious and strange version of Britain which entranced me endlessly. I think I tried to read it cover to cover once, but I feel now as if that is an impossible feat. There's just so much crammed into the 540 pages of this book, I can't imagine anyone ever finishing it, let alone the schoolboy I was.

20 years later, picking up a copy and flicking through it is a remarkable experience. I remember so much of this book, the layout, individual pages, the maps of the regions with their strange symbols showing where particular stories of standing stones, witches and wizards, ghosts and other quirky categories of our folklore came from. I remember the illustrations on full-page spreads on characters like Herne The Hunter, images from woodcuts, paintings, tapestry and blurry, emotively charged black and white photography which accompanied the myriad entries within.

There is also so much I do not remember. It's truly amazing, like the doors to a strange land whose inhabitants colonized the inner space of my own imagination long ago. Amazing. Truly amazing.
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on 8 March 2016
i was excited to see this book again after 40 years. I spent hours as a child ruining my eyesight working through these succinct paragraphs that describe another time when peoples lives where defined by tales and ghost stories not science and the Internet. Even then I think I was being nostalgic. Now with double nostalgia as I the book was printed in the 70's and is very much if it's time. The illustrations and photographs are of great quality and of a time when readers digest could afford to employ an army if professionals in those fields. It's still a good book for dipping into and marvelling at strange beliefs and finding historical conections to present day place names and identity. The book was designed to be used as a travel guide for motorists who wanted to tour England while investigating local legend and folk beliefs perhaps one day I might use it as an excuse to do a road trip myself!
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on 15 May 2014
Excellent and hard to find book. Am enjoying dipping into it. Substantial book with lots of illustrations. The text is very accessible but a little on the lightweight side so far. I found myself saying 'but what about ...?' at certain points so far where I felt that the authors had left something out which I thought was common knowledge. However I think this book covers a huge range so there would not be space to go into a lot of depth. I would recommend this book.
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on 15 December 2017
Great little book - covers a good range of fairytales without the 'Disney' rubbish
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on 26 June 2016
Had a copy of this since childhood, my eldest daughter was always thumbing it's pages so naturally I bought her her own copy. Fantastic book that misses nothing to do with it's title.
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on 27 July 2016
Love this book had it when I was a child, and still like it now.
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on 1 November 2015
Very useful to me in my researches
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on 19 May 2017
Got it at last :)
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on 8 July 2016
Fantastic insight into British history, with wonderful illustrations throughout. I read this book avidly from about age 8 onwards.
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on 25 July 2015
such an informative book, lovely for browsing. So good we bought a second one to sent to friends in Australia!!
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