Scotland's rich past and varied landscape have inspired an extraordinary array of legends and beliefs, and in The Lore of Scotland Jennifer Westwood and Sophia Kingshill bring together many of the finest and most intriguing: stories of heroes and bloody feuds, tales of giants, fairies, and witches, and accounts of local customs and traditions. Their range extends right across the country, from the Borders with their haunting ballads, via Glasgow, site of St Mungo's miracles, to the fateful battlefield of Culloden, and finally to the Shetlands, home of the seal-people. More than simply retelling these stories, The Lore of Scotland explores their origins, showing how and when they arose and investigating what basis - if any - they have in historical fact. In the process, it uncovers the events that inspired Shakespeare's Macbeth, probes the claim that Mary King's Close is the most haunted street in Edinburgh, and examines the surprising truth behind the fame of the MacCrimmons, Skye's unsurpassed bagpipers. Moreover, it reveals how generations of Picts, Vikings, Celtic saints and Presbyterian reformers shaped the myriad tales that still circulate, and, from across the country, it gathers together legends of such renowned figures as Sir William Wallace, St Columba, and the great warrior Fingal. The result is a thrilling journey through Scotland's legendary past and an endlessly fascinating account of the traditions and beliefs that play such an important role in its heritage.
One hundred years of children's games, rhymes and traditions
Author: Steve Roud
Publisher: Random House
From conkers to marbles, from British Bulldog to tag, not forgetting 'one potato, two potato' and 'eeny, meeny, miny, mo', The Lore of the Playground looks at the games children have enjoyed, the rhymes they have chanted and the rituals and traditions they have observed over the past hundred years and more. Each generation, it emerges, has had its own favourites - hoops and tops in the 1930s, clapping games more recently. Some pastimes, such as skipping, have proved remarkably resilient, their complicated rules carefully handed down from one class to the next. Many are now the stuff of distant memory. And some traditions have proved to be strongly regional, loved by children in one part of the country, unknown to those elsewhere. All are brilliantly and meticulously recorded by Steve Roud, who has drawn on interviews with hundreds of people aged from 8 to 80 to create a fascinating picture of all our childhoods.
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A Case Study of Repopulation and Social Change in a Small Community
Author: John B. Stephenson
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Category: Social Science
The Highlands of Scotland, like the southern Appalachians of the United States, have long been a problem area in Great Britain, troubled with a fading economy and loss of population. Most books about the region, however, are popular volumes that romanticize a bygone way of life. This study of Ford, a village of some 160 people in western Argyllshire, thus fills a gap in the literature and provides a look at the present realities of Scottish life. Although the Highlands are by no means a homogeneous region, Ford in its size and makeup is perhaps a representative rural settlement. John Stephenson, who conducted extensive interviews in the village during 1981, focuses his study on the theme of survival, on whether this particular village shows signs of enduring as a community of people bound together by common interests and situations. Though necessarily tentative, his conclusions are optimistic. Ford has shown a recent increase in population, consisting almost entirely of newcomers, and though its residents have now a more varied background, they seem to have a sense of place, of belonging to the village. This book will provide new insights not only for those interested in life in the Highlands but also for all those interested in small communities in other parts of the world.
Stories are something you carry with you, something to last your entire life, to be passed on to your children, and their children for evermore.' Duncan Williamson came from a family of Travelling People, who told stories around the campfire for entertainment and for teaching. As a child, Duncan learnt the ways of the world through stories: 'My father's knowledge told us how to live in this world as natural human beings -- not to be greedy, not to be foolish, not to be daft or selfish -- by stories.' In this collection, he passes on some of these wonderful children's folk and fairy tales. For over sixty years Duncan travelled around Scotland -- on foot, then in a horse and cart, and later an old van -- collecting tales, which not only come from the Travelling People but from the crofters, farmers and shepherds he met along the way. This collection includes tales about cunning foxes and storytelling cats, hunchbacked ogres and beautiful unicorns, helpful broonies and mysterious fairies, rich kings and fearsome warriors, as well as those about ordinary folk trying to make their way in the world. The stories have been written down as faithfully as possible to Duncan's unique storytelling voice, full of colour, humour and life.