Green Men & White Swans: The Folklore of British Pub Names

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Penguin Random House, Jun 2, 2011 - History - 368 pages
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"From the King and Tinker, named after a traditional tale where a disguised monarch surprises a local craftsman, to the Eagle and Child, commemorating the Lathom legend , many British pub names and signs are steeped in local legends and ancient beliefs. In this book, one of the UK s leading folklorists explores the stories behind the names, showing where they originated and tracing how they have evolved over the years. In the process, she retells the dramatic tale of local Wiltshire hero Rattlebone, describes the centuries-old custom that gives its name to the Silver Ball in St Columb and reveals why the Green Man is sometimes depicted as a club-wielding giant with a girdle of leaves, and sometimes drawn as a Robin Hood figure. Not only that, she also explains why you seem to be able to find a Red Lion, a Queen's Head or a White Horse in every part of the country, and why the recent fashion for apparently meaningless combinations involving slugs, toads, parrots and firkins actually has a precedent in history. Enlightening and revealing, Green Men and White Swans is both an intriguing insight into the history of the British pub and a captivating journey through the country's le

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About the author (2011)

Dr Jacqueline Simpson was born in 1930 and studied English Literature and Medieval Icelandic at Bedford College, University of London. She has been an active member of the Folklore Society since the 1960s, having served at various times as Editor, Secretary and President. She also belongs to the Viking Society for Northern Research. She is particularly interested in local legends, both English and Scandinavian. Her books include British Dragons (1980), Scandinavian Folktales (1988), A Dictionary of English Folklore (2000, with Steve Roud), The Lore of the Land (2005, with Jennifer Westwood) and The Folklore of the Discworld (2008, with Terry Pratchett). She is a member of the Ghosts and Scholars Society and the Dracula Society. She lives in Sussex.

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