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  • Published: 15 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099547167
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $22.99

The Lore of Scotland

A guide to Scottish legends




A magnificent exploration of Scotland's legendary past

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.

  • Published: 15 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099547167
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $22.99

About the authors

Jennifer Beatrice Westwood

Jennifer Westwood was born in 1940 and studied English Language at Oxford, followed by Medieval Icelandic at Cambridge. A long-time member of the Folklore Society, she served as editor of FLS Books and also the journal Folklore. Her books include Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain (1985), Gothick Cornwall (1992), Lost Atlantis (1997), On Pilgrimage (2003), The Lore of the Land (2005, with Jacqueline Simpson), and The Lore of Scotland (2009, with Sophia Kingshill). She died in 2008.

Sophia Kingshill

Sophia Kingshill is the author, with Jennifer Westwood, of The Lore of Scotland and The Fabled Coast. She also writes for the theatre, and her plays have been performed in Scotland, England, and Norway.

Praise for The Lore of Scotland

Within a few minutes of this book arriving, I had put bookmarks in five places and was roaring through the index. A lovely compilation. It's the real macabre

Terry Pratchett

An enthralling treasure chest of Scottish myths and legends ... With this incredible collection, Westwood and Kingshill have ensured that ... the stories of the past have now been preserved for future generations

Daily Record

This is a well researched book exploring the rich folklore of Scotland ... The breadth and range of this book is wide ... Amusing and erudite, it's also an excellent guide to local variations in Scottish culture

Sunday Telegraph

A fascinating read which looks at mythical beings from kelpies and waterhorses to modern-day vampires

Scottish Sunday Mail

A perfect book to read as the winter nights begin drawing in, and the mists settle, the pipes play and the creatures and myths we can only half imagine come to haunt and intrigue us. An impressively researched book which genuinely will exercise your beliefs

Gilda O’Neill

More than 500 Scottish legends, fairytales, folklore, myths and poems included in an impressive 554-page epic, The Lore of Scotland [includes] ... every part of Scotland ... with an A to Z that goes from Achinduin on Lismore to Vaul on Tiree

Sunday Post

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