Magazine article Geographical

The Coast to the Fabled Coast: Legends and Traditions from around the Shores of Britain and Ireland

Magazine article Geographical

The Coast to the Fabled Coast: Legends and Traditions from around the Shores of Britain and Ireland

Article excerpt

THE COAST TO THE FABLED COAST: Legends and Traditions from around the Shores of Britain and Ireland by Sophia Kingshill and Jennifer Westwood Random House, hb, 20 [pounds sterling]

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It's hardly surprising that so many wonderful fables are set by the sea. As the authors of this muddled but charming book explain, the coast is where earth meets water and where the known and the unknown intermingle. There's no better place for dreams, tall tales and supposed glimpses of the supernatural.

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The British folklore tradition is second to none and readers will encounter many accounts of ghosts, omens and phantom ships. They will also notice how often saints have plied their trade by the seaside and how frequently the coast has been feared as the chosen playground of the devil and his minions.

It would be hard work reading The Coast to Fabled Coast from cover to cover, so the best tactic would be to open it at random every once in a while or focus on a region you're about to visit. …

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