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Folk-lore of Shakespeare

by T.F. Thiselton Dyer


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This is a comprehensive studies of the folklore aspects of Shakespeare, providing a full-spectrum exposure to the cultural background of Elizabethan society. The Reverend Dyer, who also wrote Folk-lore of Women, delves into the source of innumerable passages in Shakespeare which were mysterious even back in Victorian times. Although usually he manages to clear up the mystery, in few instances he has to admit defeat.

This book is vital if you want to really understand Shakespeare's cultural context and times. He covers everything from the supernatural (fairies, witches, mermaids) to the mundane: games, weddings, dance, punishments, proverbs, animal lore. You can read it straight through, but it is also a browser's delight; you never know what bit of the bard lodged in your mind he will shed light on next.--J.B. Hare, April 16th, 2009.

Production Notes: due to the number of quotes in this book, paragraphs and paragraphs continuations are marked explicitly by indentation.

Title Page
Chapter I. Fairies
Chapter II. Witches
Chapter III. Ghosts
Chapter IV. Demonology and Devil Lore
Chapter V. Natural Phenomena
Chapter VI. Birds
Chapter VII. Animals
Chapter VIII. Plants
Chapter IX. Insects and Reptiles
Chapter X. Folk Medicine
Chapter XI. Customs Connected with the Calendar
Chapter XII. Birth and Baptism
Chapter XIII. Marriage
Chapter XIV. Death and Burial
Chapter XV. Rings and Precious Stones
Chapter XVI. Sports and Pastimes
Chapter XVII. Dances
Chapter XVIII. Punishments
Chapter XIX. Proverbs
Chapter XX. Human Body
Chapter XXI. Fishes
Chapter XXII. Sundry Superstitions
Chapter XXIII. Miscellaneous Customs, etc.