Folklore for the Folk: William Grant Stewart, The Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Scottish Highlander
Folklore for the Folk: William Grant Stewart, The Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Scottish Highlander
Folklore for the Folk: William Grant Stewart, The Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Scottish Highlander
Folklore for the Folk: William Grant Stewart, The Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Scottish Highlander
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Folklore for the Folk: William Grant Stewart, The Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Scottish Highlander

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Condition: Interior: Very good to Near Fine. New Edition, 1851. London, printed by Witherdeen, Lithographic and Letterpress printer. 18mo (17.5 cm x 11cm). i+ unsigned plate, π6, B-P6, +i; [prelims iii]v-xiv, [unnumbered], 1-203. Preliminaries, table of contents, and main text complete. Two foxing spots on Dedication & Preface page (pictured), similar on pp. 88/89, 115, 135, 147, other wise clean of foxing; minor moisture discoloration along the top margin on pp. 2-12, 73-83, 145-175, 185-192 (pictured). Binding Condition: Good: Spine has faded to grey but front and back covers retain red color, with minor signs of aging, most significant defect is lightened splotch on back cover (pictured)

In a similar manner to John Francis Campbell’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands, William Grant Stewart (1797-1869) published the collected oral tales of the Highlander. With the increased industrialization of the 19th century, that which was rural, rustic, and "folkish” was increasingly viewed as an atavistic monument to progress. Folklore simultaneously served as a vehicle to demonstrate the leaps in sophistication society had supposedly made, while also standing as a foundation for building national and regional pride.

 

Originally published in 1823, Stewart’s collection focuses on the supernatural beings in Scottish folklore and on festival practices for Halloween, Christmas, New Years, Fasten’s Eve, Belton (spelled Beltane in the chapter) Eve, christenings, weddings, wakes, and funerals.

"The language is almost entirely borrowed from the mouth of the Highland narrator, and translated, it is to be hoped, in a manner so simple and unvarnished, as to be perfectly intelligible to the capacity of the peasant, for whose fire-side entertainment this little volume may, perhaps, be particularly adapted."