Deep in the heart of the Trossachs countryside, in Scotland, lies the village of Aberfoyle. To the south east of the village is a hill called Doon Hill. Legend has it that this is the home of the Sidhe (pronounced shee), or Faery Folk. It is said that in 1692, the minister of the parish, Reverend Robert Kirk, was spirited away by the Faery Folk as a punishment for revealing their secrets. Meet Hamish, his granny and other characters inside this book. They are gnomes, guardians of the oak trees. Their homeland; the woody knoll called Doon Hill. Their duty; to take care of sick animals and to protect the oak woodlands. Their biggest enemy; owls! Their greatest delight; to sing and dance celebrating the forest gods. Their biggest hate; humans who call them faeries, blame them for troubles and show them no respect.
The Lake of Menteith is Scotland's only lake. Its environs include a wealth of historical and mythical evidence. When William Graham, Earl of Menteith, opens an old, red, leather book which he finds in the grounds of Inchtalla Castle, he has no idea of what he is about to unleash. Zander and his crew of goblins are desperate to work for the Earl but will their natural gift for mischief prevent them from retaining their freedom?
The second volume in Tim Robinson's phenomenal Connemara Trilogy - which Robert Macfarlane has called 'One of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English'. The first volume of Tim Robinson's Connemara trilogy, Listening to the Wind, covered Robinson's home territory of Roundstone and environs. The Last Pool of Darkness moves into wilder territory: the fjords, cliffs, hills and islands of north-west Connemara, a place that Wittgenstein, who lived on his own in a cottage there for a time, called 'the last pool of darkness in Europe'. Again combining his polymathic knowledge of Connemara's natural history, human history, folklore and topography with his own unsurpassable artistry as a writer, Tim Robinson has produced another classic. A native of Yorkshire, Tim Robinson moved to the Aran Islands in 1972. His books include the celebrated two-volume Stones of Aran. Since 1984 he has lived in Roundstone, Connemara. 'The Proust & Ruskin of modern place-writing, deep-mapper of Irish landscapes, visionary thinker, and human of exceptional intellectual generosity & kindness. He was an immense inspiration to & encourager of me & my work' Robert Macfarlane 'A masterpiece of travel and topographical writing and a miraculous, vivid and engrossing meditation on landscape and history and the sacred mood of places' Colm Tóibín, Irish Times 'One of the greatest writers of lands ... No one has disentangled the tales the stones of Ireland have to tell so deftly and retold them so beautifully' Fintan O'Toole
The authorities told folk what they ought to believe, but what did they really believe? Throughout Scottish history, people have believed in fairies. They were a part of everyday life, as real as the sunrise, and as incontrovertible as the existence of God. While fairy belief was only a fragment of a much larger complex, the implications of studying this belief tradition are potentially vast, revealing some understanding of the worldview of the people of past centuries. This book, the first modern study of the subject, examines the history and nature of fairy belief, the major themes and motifs, the demonising attack upon the tradition, and the attempted reinstatement of the reality of fairies at the end of the seventeenth century, as well as their place in ballads and in Scottish literature.
Jo was born in Shropshire, and now lives with her husband in Argyll. She has always had a passion for writing, along with a lively fascination for history and the natural world. In 2016 she was invited to become Writer in Residence at the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
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.
This enchanting collection of stories gathers together legends from across Scotland in one special volume. Drawn from The History Press’ popular Folk Tales series, herein lies a treasure trove of tales from a wealth of talented storytellers. From the Spaeman’s peculiar advice and a laird who is transformed into a frog, to a fugitive hiding in a dark cave and the stoor worm battling with Assipattle, this book celebrates the distinct character of Scotland's different customs, beliefs and dialects, and is a treat for all who enjoy a well-told story.
This lively and entertaining collection of folk tales from the Scottish Borders is rich in stories both tall and true, ancient and recent, dark and funny, fantastical and powerful. Here you will find the Lochmaben Harper, Tam Linn, Thomas the Rhymer, Muckle Mou’d Meg and Michael Scott the wizard. These well-loved and magical stories – some appearing in print here for the first time – are retold in an engaging style, shaped by James Spence’s many years of storytelling. Richly illustrated and enlivened by the rhythmic Scots language of the region, these enchanting tales are sure to be enjoyed and shared time and again.
Here are 125 magnificent folktales collected from anthologies and journals published from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with tales of the ancient times and continuing through the arrival of the saints in Ireland in the fifth century, the periods of war and family, the Literary Revival championed by William Butler Yeats, and the contemporary era, these robust and funny, sorrowful and heroic stories of kings, ghosts, fairies, treasures, enchanted nature, and witchcraft are set in cities, villages, fields, and forests from the wild western coast to the modern streets of Dublin and Belfast. Edited by Henry Glassie With black-and-white illustrations throughout Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library
'If you thought Denzil Meyrick’s previous book, The Last Witness was thrilling, this one is truly mesmerising... completely captivating... DCI Daley is shaping up to be the West Coast’s answer to Edinburgh’s Rebus' – Scottish Home & Country When a senior Edinburgh civil servant spectacularly takes his own life in Kinloch harbour, DCI Jim Daley comes face to face with the murky world of politics. To add to his woes, two local drug dealers lie dead, ritually assassinated. It’s clear that dark forces are at work in the town. With his boss under investigation, his marriage hanging on by a thread, and his sidekick DS Scott wrestling with his own demons, Daley’s world is in meltdown. When strange lights appear in the sky over Kinloch, it becomes clear that the townsfolk are not the only people at risk. The fate of nations is at stake. Jim Daley must face his worst fears as tragedy strikes. This is not just about a successful investigation, it’s about survival. Also available from Denzil Meyrick: Whisky From Small Glasses, The Last Witness and The Rat Stone Serenade.
On the Internet, seekers investigate anonymous manifestos that focus on the findings of brilliant scientists said to have discovered pathways into alternate realities. Gathering on web forums, researchers not only share their observations, but also report having anomalous experiences, which they believe come from their online involvement with these veiled documents. Seeming logic combines with wild twists of lost Moorish science and pseudo-string theory. Enthusiasts insist any obstacle to revelation is a sure sign of great and wide-reaching efforts by consensus powers wishing to suppress all the liberating truths in the Incunabula Papers (included here in complete form). In Legend-Tripping Online, Michael Kinsella explores these and other extraordinary pursuits. This is the first book dedicated to legend-tripping, ritual quests in which people strive to explore and find manifest the very events described by supernatural legends. Through collective performances, legend-trippers harness the interpretive frameworks these stories provide and often claim incredible, out-of-this-world experiences that in turn perpetuate supernatural legends. Legends and legend-tripping are assuming tremendous prominence in a world confronting new speeds of diversification, connection, and increasing cognitive load. As guardians of tradition as well as agents of change, legends and the ordeals they inspire contextualize ancient and emergent ideas, behaviors, and technologies that challenge familiar realities. This book analyzes supernatural legends and the ways in which the sharing spirit of the Internet collectivizes, codifies, and makes folklore of fantastic speculation.
The Brahan Seer is a legendary figure known throughout Scotland and the Scottish Diaspora and indeed anywhere there is an interest in looking into the future. This book traces the legend of the Seer between the sixteenth and twenty-first centuries. It considers the seer figure in relation to aspects of Scottish Highland culture and society that shaped its development during this period. These include the practice and prosecution of witchcraft, the reporting and scientific investigation of instances of second sight, and the perennial belief in and use of prophecy as a means of predicting events. In so doing the book provides a set of historicised contexts for understanding the genesis of the legend and how it changed over time through a synthesis of historical events, oral tradition, folklore and literary Romanticism. It makes a contribution to the debates not only about witchcraft, second sight and prophecy but also about the relationship between 'popular' and 'elite' culture in Scotland. By taking the Brahan Seer as a case study it argues that 'popular' culture is not antithetical to 'elite' culture but rather in constant (and complex) interaction with it.
This authoritative, entertaining and eminently browsable reference book, arranged in easily accessible A - Z format, is an absorbing and imaginative feast of Scottish lore, language, history and culture, from the mythical origins of the Scots in Scythia to the contemporary Scotland of the Holyrood parliament and Trainspotting. Here Tartan Tories rub shoulders with Torry girls, the Misery from the Manse exchanges a nod with Stalin's Granny, Thomas the Rhymer and the Wizard of Reay walk hand in hand with Bible John, and the reader is taken for a rollercoaster ride round Caledonia, from Furry Boots City to the Costa Clyde, via the Cold Shoulder of Scotland, the West Lothian Alps and the Reykjavik of the South. The result is a breathtaking and quirky celebration of Scotland, packed with fact and anecdote.