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The ultimate guide to British folklore (according to Twitter)

Yesterday I put out a tweet asking for some recommendations on information about British mythology and folklore. I've long felt the magic of this wonderful land of ours in my bones (you CAN feel it, if you're paying attention), but hadn't really explored beyond that. As I'm now writing a story which skirts at the edges of such weird and wonderful and dangerous things, I felt it was time to step up my research.

Anyway, I was expecting maybe three or four mentions of books or possibly a podcast to listen to. And what I got back has been an unstoppable deluge of passionate recommendations for everything, by some truly wonderful people, that has far surpassed anything I could have hoped for.

Such was the level of response, I felt it might be nice to gather as much of that information as possible into a single place - making it easier for other explorers looking for the magic lingering on these shores. Hope you find what you're looking for. Enjoy!

Recommended books (in no particular order)

A Treasury of British Folklore - Dee Dee Chainey (see image above)

Anything and everything by Katharine (K.M.) Briggs

The Mabinogion (translation by Sioned Davies)

The Book of English Magic - Philip Carr-Gomm and Richard Heygate

Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain (out of print, but you can get second hand - and apparently you should, as it was described as "basically the folklore fan's bible"!)

History of Britain - Geoffrey of Monmouth's("critiqued as a not-credible account, but much to learn and appreciate")

Lost and Found - Elizabeth Garner

Myth and Moor - Terri Windling

Collected Folk Tales / The Owl Service / Basically anything written by Alan Garner (The Weirdstone of Brisingamen is a personal favourite of mine! Can't ever go near Alderley Edge without thinking about it.)

Myths and Legends of the British Isles - Richard Barber

The Land of the Green Man - Carolyne Larrington

Albion by Peter Ackroyd

Ghostland - Edward Parnell (and you can read a brilliant excerpt of this here:

The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England's Legends, from Spring-heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys - Jacqueline Simpson and Jennifer Westwood

The Lost Gods of England - Brian Branston

The Way of Wyrd - Brian Bates

Mythago Wood - Robert Holdstock

The Dark is Rising (series) - Susan Cooper

Strange Lands: A Field-Guide to the Celtic and British Otherworld - Andrew L. Paciorek

The Jack Tales - Richard Chase

Mythology of the British Isles - Geoffrey Ashe

Timpson's England: a look beyond the obvious - John Timpson

The Stations of the Sun / Pagan Britain / Triumph of the Moon - Prof. Ronald Hutton

Penguin Book of English and Scottish Folktales - Neil Philip

The Minor Traditions of British Mythology - Lewis Spence

The Old Ways and Underland: A Deep Time Journey - Robert Macfarlane

The Wake - Paul Kingsnorth

Myths and Customs of Britain - Marc Alexander

The Modern Antiquarian - Julian Cope

Hollow Places: An Unusual History of Land and Legend - Christopher Hadley

Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in an Age of Amnesia - Martin Shaw and David Abram

Oak, Ash and Thorn - Peter Fiennes

Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

British Folk Customs - Christina Hole

Anything by Rosemary Sutcliff

Latest books by Catherine Fisher

The White Goddess - Robert Graves

Tree Wisdom - Jacqueline Memory Paterson

Gossip from the Forest - Sara Maitland

The Re-enchanted Landscape - Rupert White

A Celtic Miscellany (Penguin)

Folklore, Myths, Legends of Britain - Reader's Digest

Magical Folk - Simon Young

Natural Magic - Paddy Slade

Druids : A Very Short Introduction - Barry Cunliffe

Secret Lore of London - John Matthews, Caroline Wise, Nigel Pennick

Red Sky at Night - Jane Struthers


Modern Fairies - Carolyne Larrington and Fay Hield (University of Oxford)

The Folklore Podcast


Websites and articles

Folklore Thursday (website - also follow @FolkloreThurs and #FolkloreThurs, plus they have their own recommended reading list!

Gog and Magog (article)

Ghostland: Arthur Machen, King Arthur and 'Goblin City' (article)

Hallowquest (website)

Sharon Blackie (website)

Dennis Price (website)

Twitter accounts



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