When the Golden Bough Breaks: Folk Drama and the Theatre Historian

Tom Pettitt
2005 NJES: Nordic Journal of English studies  
Collecting traditional tales in Lincolnshire towards the end of the nineteenth century, the folklorist M.C. Balfour had the good fortune to encounter "an old man from Lindsey," who alongside a rich fund of legends could also offer a historical account of the picturesque local lore and custom they reflected. For in earlier times, his grandfather had told him, people were much concerned about the forces in nature which could affect their well-being, and to control or placate the "bogles", the
more » ... ely conceived supernatural beings in which these forces were invested, they practised many ritual observances which were hardly in conformity with the doctrines and ceremonies of established religion: the folk had ideas of their own, and ways of their own, as they'd kept up years and years and hundreds of years, since the time when there weren't no church, leastwise no church of that sort. ... So there were, so to say, two churches; the one with priests and candles, and all that; the other just a lot of old ways, kept up all unbeknown and hidden-like, midst the folk themselves.
doi:10.35360/njes.35 fatcat:ddsfdz3hvrh6dp4gi5wfozl6ve