Thomas Hardy: Folklore and Resistance
This book reassesses Hardy’s fiction in the light of his prolonged engagement with the folklore and traditions of rural England. Drawing on wide research, it demonstrates the pivotal role played in the novels by such customs and beliefs as ‘overlooking’, hag-riding, skimmington-riding, sympathetic magic, mumming, bonfire nights, May Day celebrations, Midsummer divination, and the ‘Portland Custom’. This study shows how such traditions were lived out in practice in village life, and how they were represented in written texts – in literature, newspapers, county histories, folklore books, the work of the Folklore Society, archival documents, and letters. It explores tensions between Hardy’s repeated insistence on the authenticity of his accounts and his engagement with contemporary anthropologists and folklorists, and reveals how his efforts to resist their ‘excellently neat’ categories of culture open up wider questions about the nature of belief, progress, and social change.
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Belief Overlooking Sympathetic Magic HagRiding and Souths Tree
Acts of Disapproval Skimmington Riding
Acts of Approval The Portland Custom
Winter Customs Bonfire Night and Mumming
Summer Customs May Day and Midsummer Divination
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Andrew Radford appears argued Avice Avice II Avice’s Barnes belief Biography Revisited Bonfire Night Brand Bridport burning celebrations Christian Clodd d’Urbervilles degeneration described divination Dorset County Chronicle Dorsetshire Folk-Lore Durbeyfield edition effigy Egdon Heath English Eustacia evil eye festival fire Folklore Society folklorists Frazer Greenslade hag-riding Handbook of Folklore Hardy’s Hardy’s Wessex Henchard History Hutton idea instincts island Jocelyn John Jude Jude the Obscure labour later London Lucetta marriage marry Mayor of Casterbridge maypole merry England Millgate modern Montacute House mother mummers mumming National Native neighbours nineteenth century novel overlooked Oxford pagan poem Popular Antiquities Portland Custom Primitive Culture reader recorded Return revival Rhoda Ronald Hutton Ruskin scene Scott seems skimmington ride social Somerset South’s story suggests superstition survival Tess Tess’s Thomas Hardy tradition tree Tylor Udal University Press Victorian village Well-Beloved Whitelands Whitelands College William witch Withered Arm woman women Woodlanders writing