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A Treasury of British Folklore

Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

Dee Dee Chainey

National Trust


ISBN: 9781911358398

Price: £ 12.99

Publication date: 5 April 2018

ISBN: 9781911358565

ASIN: B07JQ63S76

Price: £ 8.99

  Our price: £

Publication date: 26 October 2018


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An entertaining and engrossing collection of British customs, superstitions and legends from past and present.

Did you know, in Cumbria it was believed a person lying on a pillow stuffed with pigeon’s feathers could not die? Or that green is an unlucky colour for wedding dresses? In Scotland it was thought you could ward off fairies by hanging your trousers from the foot of the bed, and in Gloucestershire you could cure warts by cutting notches in the bark of an ash tree.

You’ve heard about King Arthur and St George, but how about the Green Man, a vegetative deity who is seen to symbolise death and rebirth? Or Black Shuck, the giant ghostly dog who was reputed to roam East Anglia?

In this beautifully illustrated book, Dee Dee Chainey tells tales of mountains and rivers, pixies and fairy folk, and witches and alchemy. She explores how British culture has been shaped by the tales passed between generations, and by the land that we live on.

As well as looking at the history of this subject, this book lists the places you can go to see folklore alive and well today. The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival in Cambridgeshire or the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance in Staffordshire for example, or wassailing cider orchards in Somerset.


Dee Dee Chainey is an archaeologist by training, and author of A Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe from National Trust Books. She is co-founder of #FolkloreThursday, a popular website and Twitter account that brings fascinating tales and traditions from all corners of the globe to its followers every Thursday.