Read London Lore: The Legends and Traditions of the World's Most Vibrant City by Steve Roud Online

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London is a city with almost as many ancient legends and deep-rooted customs as it has streets and landmarks, and here a leading folklorist brings together an astonishingly rich selection of them—tales of ghosts and witches; stories about fabled events, heroes, and villains; and accounts of local supersitions and beliefs. Beyond simply retelling these stories it also delveLondon is a city with almost as many ancient legends and deep-rooted customs as it has streets and landmarks, and here a leading folklorist brings together an astonishingly rich selection of them—tales of ghosts and witches; stories about fabled events, heroes, and villains; and accounts of local supersitions and beliefs. Beyond simply retelling these stories it also delves through layers of hearsay and speculation to investigate how and why they arose. In the process, it shows how the story of Dick Whittington and his cat has connections with the ancient Middle East, explains why lions rather than ravens at the Tower of London were once felt to be inextricably bound up with the city’s fate, and pinpoints precisely where the story of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, was first recorded. 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....

Title : London Lore: The Legends and Traditions of the World's Most Vibrant City
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781847945112
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 444 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

London Lore: The Legends and Traditions of the World's Most Vibrant City Reviews

  • K.J. Charles
    2018-12-12 01:45

    A pretty good overview of London lore, although not a lot massively new to me. Some very good stuff on newer myths like the Chelsea Smilers; I'd have loved a lot more of that.

  • Mel
    2018-11-17 23:45

    This book is a good introduction to London folklore. It is divided up into sections, where different streets and landmarks are arranged alphabetically, so it’s easy to find a specific area you’re interested in, if you don’t want to read the whole thing. For the most part the book focuses on 19th and 20th century lore. There are only a few instances going back earlier, most of which are drawn from Stow’s Survey of London. The type of folklore includes ghost stories, hauntings, fairs, childhood practices, rumours and stories. It is a good mixture and contains a bibliography and index so it’s easy to track down additional sources for the bits that most interest you. The writer takes on the role of the educator, in addition to the telling of the stories of folklore he also tries to explain how folklorists think and work, and how folklore is studied. This is very interesting, but can come across at times as a little condescending. The only slight criticism of I have of this book is that it centres (with a brief exception of the mention of Chinese New Year festivities) purely on “white” London folklore. Which as London has been home to immigrant families and a multi-cultural city for so long now seems to be a bit of an oversight. It would have been very interesting I think to see the way that imported folklore has become part of the city’s folklore and mixed with native beliefs. Overall this book was highly enjoyable and I’d definitely recommend it to people interested in London and folklore. I found it particularly interesting to read about the areas where I work and live and learned quite a lot. After reading it cover to cover I feel like it will also make a great reference book.

  • Daenerys
    2018-12-13 19:28

    London lore explores the legends associated with different neighbourhoods of London and alphabetically by area, so it reads more like an encyclopedia than a book. It took me a long time to read it and it's definitely best read in bits and pieces over an extended period of time, but it is really interesting and well researched, with lots of interesting information. I particularly liked the comments about the development of folklore in the introduction and in some of the entries, and the stories referring to beliefs about witchcraft and those dealing with the origins of place names. It is really a shame that a lot of the book is spent reporting ghost stories, poltergeists etc.

  • Chris
    2018-11-23 19:31

    Heavy on the ghost stories, but a wonderful book that breaks down folklore in London by area.I honestly like the idea of women sticking pins into Henry VIII's codpiece, though I think Roud gives the wrong reason.For Harry Potter fans, you can also see connections to aspects of the novels.

  • Tom Bevan
    2018-11-18 23:24

    Billed as legends AND traditions it delivers. Few books on london's folk history deliver such a variety so accessibly

  • Tom De Ville
    2018-12-07 00:18

    Comprehensive but a bit bland and over-reliant on local ghost stories.

  • Betelgeuse
    2018-11-29 23:43

    Really enjoyed this one! There are a lot of traditions, stories, paranormal events and legends worth reading about. The book is in sections (arranged by location) and it gives a map at the beginning of each one. Having such a friendly structure, if you have an event/story that you want to reread is quite easy to find it. Most stories are presenting real events but there are a few pure fiction (the author will say so at the end of them). I liked the number of ghost stories - a lot! I disliked their length - usually really short, somewhere at one paragraph or two. Overall, it was exactly what I was expecting when I bought it. Many places are shown in a different light and I will probably never look at them the same. It is always interesting to see how many houses from London were said to be haunted. I will probably have to reread it at one point as it had a lot of information and I already forgot names/locations/traditions that sounded really cool when I first read about them.

  • Maria Felgueiras
    2018-11-17 20:29

    A wonderful and sometimes witty account about legends and folklore in London. Plenty of ghost stories among many other delightful supernatural and natural accounts. A must read if you want to learn more about London.

  • Clémence
    2018-12-03 19:41

    Un livre de référence, plein d'anecdotes et d'histoires de fantômes. J'imagine qu'il complète très bien les guides touristiques de base pour qui aime des contacts un peu plus vivants avec l'histoire des villes.

  • Helene Pannekoek
    2018-11-29 21:27

    This book is a great way to discover all sorts of horror tales about the city. Luckily, it doesn't take these tales seriously but the stories are told anyways. It also includes explanations of traditions and how fairs came into existence.

  • Chrissi
    2018-12-16 23:25

    An interesting collection of myths, superstitions and ghosts in London. I particuarly enjoyed reading the ones that I had heard of before in more detail.

  • Jo
    2018-12-08 01:43

    Roud takes us around the metropolitan and tells us of the lore, legends and traditions of London. As the chapters were only short, it made for an easy read and I found this quite informative.

  • Amy Gilchrist Thorne
    2018-11-19 22:22

    Interesting. I would have liked it better if there were fewer ghost stories and more lore about customs and place names, but that's just me.

  • Anna
    2018-12-12 02:32

    Some fascinating snippets but not really what I was looking for. More legends and Ghost stories than traditions and very little on any of the subjects.

  • Angelique Simonsen
    2018-11-21 18:29

    great book to keep in glovebox to read when waiting for something

  • Hung-ya
    2018-11-18 20:25

    It is simply not what I had in mind... There are too many ghost stories.

  • Marta
    2018-12-16 18:28

    God it made me YEARN for London.

  • Elizabeth Moffat
    2018-12-04 19:23

    A good collection of myths and superstitions divided up into londons key areas. A must for anybody interested in the history of London.

  • Sami
    2018-11-24 23:43

    Compulsive reading filled with wonderful tidbits and the stories a vibrant and vital London has told both to and about itself all down through the centuries.

  • Katherine
    2018-12-15 21:42

    The best non-fiction book I've read this year! Particularly enjoyed the snarky comments about ghost tropes. Amazing!

  • Kenny
    2018-11-19 22:18

    This is one of our current "toilet books".

  • Ryan Johnson
    2018-12-10 20:32

    I doubt anyone would regret reading this.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-11 18:26

    Good snippets