London is a city with almost as many ancient legends and deep-rooted customs as it has streets and landmarks and here a leading folklorist brings together an astonishingly rich selection of tales of ghosts and witches; stories about fabled events heroes and villains; and accounts of local supersitions and beliefs. Beyond simply retelling these stories it also delves through layers of hearsay and speculation to investigate how and why they arose. In the process it shows how the story of Dick Whittington and his cat has connections with the ancient Middle East explains why lions rather than ravens at the Tower of London were once felt to be inextricably bound up with the city's fate and pinpoints precisely where the story of Sweeney Todd the demon barber of Fleet Street was first recorded. Exploring everything from local superstitions to ghost stories to annual customs this is an enchanting guide to the ancient legends and deep-rooted beliefs that can be found the length and breadth of the cityAbout The AuthorSteve Roud recently retired from his position as Local Studies Librarian for the London Borough of Croydon and served as Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for over fifteen years. He has been researching British folklore for over thirty years and is the joint author of the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore plus other books on traditional drama and folk song and the Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland which won the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award in 2004. He also compiles the Folk Song Index and the Broadside Index two internationally acclaimed computer databases of traditional folk and popular song. He lives in Sussex.
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