Scottish folk literature is characterised by a wide range of creative expression: story, song, play and proverb. This anthology, first published in 1984, provides an authoritative introduction to Scottish folk literature, and is unique in that it deals with all the genres intrinsic to Scottish tradition. Its selected texts offer an unusual and diverse enjoyment to the reader, including such forms as wonder tales or Märhcen, classical ballads, riddles, jocular tales, lyric and comic and occupational folksongs, rhymes, historical and supernatural legends, and guisers’ plays. The texts chosen cover the main regional traditions of Lowland Scotland, from Galloway to the Shetlands, and span a number of centuries, through both pre- and post-industrial periods, from a sailor’s worksong of the sixteenth century to modern urban legends just recently recorded. The book is arranged in four sections, on Folk Narrative, Folksong, Folksay, and Folk Drama, each with an introduction and a bibliographical essay setting the material in context and indicating some of its international links. Folk literature itself is brought into firm focus by discussion and generic example, and the anthology as a whole illuminates substantial areas of Scottish social and cultural life.
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