Pirates and smugglers, ghost ships and sea-serpents, fishermen's prayers and sailors' rituals - the coastline of the British Isles plays host to an astonishingly rich variety of local legends, customs and superstitions. In The Fabled Coast , renowned folklorists Sophia Kingshill and Jennifer Westwood gather together the most enthralling tales and traditions, tracing their origins and examining the facts behind the legends. Was there ever such a beast as the monstrous Kraken? Did a Welsh prince discover America, centuries before Columbus? What happened to the missing crew of the Mary Celeste? Along the way, they recount the stories that are an integral part of our coastal heritage, such as the tale of Drake's Drum , said to be heard when England was in peril, and the mythical island of Hy Brazil, which for centuries appeared on sea charts and maps to the west of Ireland. The result is an endlessly fascinating, often surprising journey through our island history.
SOPHIA KINGSHILL is the author of a previous book with Jennifer Westwood, The Lore of Scotland, which was published by Random House in 2009. She also writes for the theatre, and her plays have been performed in Scotland, England, and Norway. JENNIFER WESTWOOD was born in 1940 and studied English Language at Oxford, followed by Medieval Icelandic at Cambridge. A long-time member of the Folklore Society, she served as editor of FLS Books and also the journal Folklore. Her books include Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain (1985), Gothick Cornwall (1992), Lost Atlantis (1997), On Pilgrimage (2003), The Lore of the Land (2005, with Jacqueline Simpson), and The Lore of Scotland (2009, with Sophia Kingshill). When she died in 2008, she left a wealth of material for her most cherished project, a collection of British sea and coastal legend, which is embodied in this book.