In which part of North London were wild beasts once thought to roam the sewers? hy did 1920s working-class Londoners wear necklaces of blue beads? ho was the original inspiration for the 'pearly king' costume? nd did Spring-heeled Jack, scourge of Victorian London, ever really exist? Exploring everything from local superstitions, to ghost stories, to annual customs, this is an enchanting guide to the ancient legends and deep-rooted beliefs that can be found the length and breadth of the city.
Steve Roud recently retired from his position as Local Studies Librarian for the London Borough of Croydon and has served as Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for over fifteen years. He has been researching British folklore for over thirty years and is the joint author of the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore. His other books include the Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland, which won the Katherine Briggs Folklore Award in 2004, Monday's Child is Fair of Face ... and other traditional beliefs about babies and motherhood and The English Year, a month-by-month guide to festivals. He also compiles the Folk Song Index and the Broadside Index, two internationally acclaimed computer databases of traditional folk and popular song.