Author(s): Carolyne Larrington
Beyond its housing estates and identikit high streets there is another Britain. This is the Britain of mist-drenched forests and unpredictable sea-frets: of wraith-like fog banks, druidic mistletoe and peculiar creatures that lurk, half-unseen, in the undergrowth, tantalising and teasing just at the periphery of human vision. How have the remarkably persistent folkloric traditions of the British Isles formed and been formed by the psyches of those who inhabit them? In this sparkling new history, Carolyne Larrington explores the diverse ways in which a myriad of fantastical beings has moulded the nation's cultural history. Fairies, elves and goblins here tread purposefully, sometimes malignly, over an eerie landscape that also conceals brownies, selkies, trows, knockers, boggarts, land-wights, Jack o'Lanterns, Barguests, the sinister Nuckleavee and Black Shuck: terrifying hell-hound of the Norfolk coast with eyes of burning coal. Ranging from Shetland to Jersey and from Ireland to East Anglia, while evoking the Wild Hunt, the ghostly bells of Lyonesse and the dread fenlands haunted by Grendel, this is a book that will captivate all those who long for the wild places: the mountains and chasms where giants lie in wait.