Fungi, Folklore, and Fairyland: Supernatural in Victorian Art and Literature

How mushrooms became established as a stock motif of Victorian fairyland. This article, Fungi, Folklore, and Fairyland, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ From fairy-rings to Lewis Carroll’s Alice, mushrooms have long been entwined with the supernatural in art and[…]

The Orkney Finnmen Legends: From Early Modern Science to Modern Myth

How early modern science’s fascination with unfamiliar objects helped a new chapter of Scottish folklore. This article, The Orkney Finnmen Legends: From Early Modern Science to Modern Myth, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ At the end of the 17th[…]

Medieval Legends and Folklore

The word “folklore” was coined in 1846 CE by the British writer William John Thoms to replace the more awkward phrase “popular antiquities”. Introduction Medieval folklore is a body of work, originally transmitted orally, which was composed between the 5th and 15th centuries CE in Europe. Although folktales are a common attribute of every civilization,[…]

How Rabies Symptoms Inspired Folktales of Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Monsters

Fear of a disease that seemed to turn people into beasts might have inspired belief in supernatural beings that live on in today’s creepy Halloween costumes. Introduction In 1855, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on the gruesome murder of a bride by her new husband. The story came from the French countryside, where the woman’s[…]