London Lore - The Legends & Traditions of the World's Most Vibrant City

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ISBN
9780099519867
 
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? This enchanting guide discusses the ancient legends and deep-rooted beliefs that can be found the length and breadth of the city.
London Lore sees leading folklorist Steve Roud bring together an astonishingly rich selection of the capital's stories: fabled events, heroes and villains, tales of ghosts and witches, and accounts of local superstitions and beliefs. 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, His range extends right across the city, from Hampstead in the north, where wild beast s 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. 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.
More Information
Weight 0.450000
Author Steve Roud
Availability IP
Department London
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780099519867
Pages 464
Published 01/04/2010
Publisher Arrow
Section London Attractions
Size Unfolded 13x20cm
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