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This broad-based collection of essays is an introduction both to the concerns of contemporary folklore scholarship and to the variety of forms that folk performance has taken throughout English history.
Combining case studies of specific folk practices with discussion of the various different lenses through which they have been viewed since becoming the subject of concerted study in Victorian times, this book builds on the latest work in an ever-growing body of contemporary folklore scholarship. Many of the contributing scholars are also practicing performers and bring experience and understanding of performance to their analyses and critiques. Chapters range across the spectrum of folk song, music, drama and dance, but maintain a focus on the key defining characteristics of folk performance - custom and tradition - in a full range of performances, from carol singing and sword dancing to playground rhymes and mummers' plays.
As well as being an essential reference for folklorists and scholars of traditional performance and local history, this is a valuable resource for readers in all disciplines of dance, drama, song and music whose work coincides with English folk traditions.
About the Author
Peter Harrop is Professor Emeritus of Drama at the University of Chester, formerly Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor. His 2019 monograph Mummers' Plays Revisited is published by Routledge as part of their series Advances in Theatre and Performance. In 2013 he edited Performance Ethnography: Dance, Drama, Music (with Dunja Njaradi). Steve Roud is a freelance writer, researcher and consultant, formerly Head of Local Studies Library and Archives, London Borough of Croydon and the Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society. His most recent works include the widely reviewed and critically acclaimed Folk Song in England (2017) as well as The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs (2012) (with Julia Bishop).