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Folklore  Chronicles  Geoffrey Chaucer  Wiliam Blake  Wiliam Morris  Fairies  Ley Lines  Stonehenge  Anglo-Saxon  Faerie Queene  Arthurian

This section has texts about the folklore and legends of England and other resources at sacred-texts about the British Isles.


Some of the English folklore texts on this page were originally transcribed by Phillip Brown at his now-defunct website. These are indicated by [PB].

 Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race
by Maud Isabel Ebbutt [1910]

Folk-lore of Shakespeare
by T.F. Thiselton Dyer
A comprehensive reference to Elizabethan folklore and cultural references in Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

 The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
by Francis James Child [18821898].
This is the motherlode of ballad collections, including many variations on each ballad.

 Robin Hood
by Paul Creswick, Illustrations by N.C. Wyeth [1902]

 A Book of Old English Ballads
Illustrations by George Wharton Edwards, Introduction by Hamilton W. Mabie [1896]

 The Origins of Popular Superstitions and Customs
by T. Sharper Knowlson [1910].
Includes many superstitions and customs of England.
Thanks to Eliza Yetter at

 Sports and Pastimes of the People of England
by Joseph Strutt [2nd ed., 1903]
Sourcebook on the folklore and social history of leisure activities in ‘Merrie Olde England.’

 Popular Romances of the West of England
by Robert Hunt [1903]. [PB]

 English Fairy and Other Folk Tales
by Edwin Sidney Hartland, Illustrated by C.E. Brock [1890] [PB]

 English Fairy Tales
by Joseph Jacobs, Illustrated by John D. Batten [1890] [PB]

 More English Fairy Tales
by Joseph Jacobs, Illustrated by John D. Batten [1894] [PB]


 Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England (731)
by Bede, ed. by A.M. Sellar [1907]

 Geoffrey of Monmouth
[Histories of the Kings of Britain] (1129)
tr. by Sebastian Evans [1904]
The legendary history of Britain from King Lear to Arthur; includes the mysterious ‘Prophecies of Merlin.’

 The Vita Merlini
by Geoffrey of Monmouth; tr. by John Jay Parry [1925]
Monmouth’s account of the life of Merlin, in Latin and English translation.

Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English)
by Geoffrey Chaucer [ca. 1400]
Middle English edition of Chaucers’ complete works.

Tales from Chaucer
by Geoffrey Chaucer, tr. by Charles Cowden Clarke [1833]
A retelling of highlights of the Canterbury Tales in modern English.

William Blake

Songs of Innocence and of Experience
by William Blake [1789-1794]
A fascimile of the luminous hand colored pages of Blakes’ masterpiece, along with the text of the profound and bardic poems.

William Morris

 The Works of William Morris
The works of the prominent English writer and artist, the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Predecessor of Tolkien, and translator of Icelandic Sagas.


 The Coming of the Fairies
by Arthur Conan Doyle [1922]
A study of the famous Cottingley fairy photographs, by the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

 Tales of the Dartmoor Pixies
by William Crossing [1890] [PB]

 A Peep at the Pixies, or Legends of the West
by Anna Eliza Bray, Illustrated by Hablot K. Browne [1854] [BP]

Ley Lines

 Early British Trackways, Moats, Mounds, Camps and Sites
by Alfred Watkins [1922]
The seminal book about Ley Lines.



 Stonehenge, A Temple Restor’d to the British Druids
by William Stukeley [1740]
A pioneering study of Stonehenge, with all of the classic illustrations.

 Stonehenge and Other British Stone Monuments Astronomically Considered
by Norman Lockyer [1906]
One of the first scholars to ask if Stonehenge was a megalithic observatory?

Anglo Saxon

 The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry
 Beowulf (Modern English)
tr. by Francis B. Gummere [1910]
 Beowulf (Anglo-Saxon)
262,705 bytes
The archetypal monster story…

 The Story of Beowulf
by Strafford Riggs, illustrations by Henry Pitz [1933] [EY]
A long out-of-print prose retelling of the Beowulf saga.

Faerie Queene

Edmund Spenser’s challenging epic poem has roots in Arthurian legend but additional overlays of Christian allegory. It is one of the roots of the modern fantasy narrative.

 The Faerie Queene
by Edmund Spenser [1596]
The full text of Spenser’s epic poem of Chivalry.

 Stories from the Faerie Queene
by Mary Macleod [1916]
A retelling of Spenser’s epic for modern readers.


The matter of Arthur is not one text but a series of layered retellings of the same story, which stretches in an unbroken chain from Malory to Monty Python. Here are some of the most important texts and interpretive works of the Arthurian canon.

 Le Morte d’Arthur
by Sir Thomas Malory

 The Mabinogion
Lady Charlotte Guest, tr. [1877]
The Mabinogion is a group of Welsh tales, many of which are set in the court of King Arthur.

by Chretien DeTroyes, tr. by W.W. Comfort [1914]

 Erec et Enide
by Chretien DeTroyes, tr. by W.W. Comfort [1914]

 The High History of the Holy Graal
based on Chretien DeTroyes, tr. by Sebastian Evans [1898]

 The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal
by Arthur Edward Waite [1909]
A massive overview of the grail legend and its evolution.

 From Ritual To Romance
by Jessie L. Weston [1920].
An academic study of the roots of the Grail legend in the ancient Mystery initiations, a classic in its own right.

 The Idylls of the King
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

 King Arthur: Tales of the Round Table
by Andrew Lang; Illustrations by H.J. Ford. [1902]
An abridged version of the Arthur narrative by famous folklorist Andrew Lang; for ‘children of all ages’.

 The Champions of the Round Table
Written and Illustrated by Howard Pyle [1905]
The legends of Sir Lancelot, Sir Tristram, and Sir Percival.

 An Arthurian Miscellany
A collection of post-canon Arthurian literature.


See also Geoffrey of Monmouth (above).