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Introduction to Folklore: Traditional Studies in Europe and Elsewhere

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The Arthurian legend was largely developed in France through the middle ages (when England and France were significant rivals). Why did the English embrace a largely French creation? Were there any misgivings? What about from the French side?
Folklore! The very word captures the imagination and sends the mind on flights of fancy. Dragons, ogres, witches, elves, and heroes and heroines, all featured in legends and folktales, known to anyone who had a story read to them as a child or who saw a film adapted from these tales. And yet, oral traditions and the beliefs they reflect, as well as the customs and magical practices of pre-industrial Europe, are poorly understood by many because this is the realm of the folk, removed from the …

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The Arthurian legend was largely developed in France through the middle ages (when England and France were significant rivals). Why did the English embrace a largely French creation? Were there any misgivings? What about from the French side?(r/AskHistorians)

There are several candidates for the “real” Arthur (if not many – depending on how widely one is willing to accept the theories on the fringes). There may have been one or more players whose personae coalesced over time to put wind in the sail of the legendary Arthur, but as the esteemed /u/Stormtemplar indicates, whoever that person(s) was, he’d have almost no resemblance to the Arthur we know today.

Following is an answer I developed several years ago and then later incorporated into my Introduction to Folklore, which I used when I taught folklore:

>When I see the posts like this asking about whether there were real people or events behind legends, myths, and/or the ancient gods, I respond with several observations. First, the idea that the gods and heroes of legend are based on real people had an early proponent in the Greek, late-fourth-century BCE writer, Euhemerus, giving his name to this approach to myth and legend: Euhemerism. Folklorists generally regard the idea that there was an actual basis for most oral tradition as barking up the wrong tree, because the original “real” event behind a story is usually elusive and searching for that core is a…

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Subreddits

mythology,AskHistorians,tolkienfans,Fantasy,AskAnthropology

Number Of Links

20

Amazon Price

$7.99

Book Binding

Paperback

Type Code

ABIS_BOOK

Book Author

Ronald M. James

Book Publisher

Independently published

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Introduction to Folklore: Traditional Studies in Europe and Elsewhere

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