Folk-lore of Shakespeare, by T.F. Thiselton Dyer, , at sacred-texts.com
It would be difficult to overestimate the value which must be attached to the plays of Shakespeare in connection with the social life of the Elizabethan age. Possessed of a rich treasury of knowledge of a most varied kind, much of which he may be said to have picked up almost intuitively, he embellished his writings with a choice store of illustrations descriptive of the period in which he lived. Apart, too, from his copious references to the manners and customs of the time, he seems to have had not only a wide knowledge of many technical subjects, but, also, an intimate acquaintance with the folk-lore of bygone days. How far this was the case may be gathered from the following pages, in which are collected, and grouped together, as far as arrangement would permit, the various subjects relating to this interesting and popular branch of our domestic history. It only remains for me to add that the Edition of the poet's plays made use of is the "Globe," published by Messrs Macmillan.
T. F. THISELTON DYER.