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Some choices from the early June 2012 offerings.
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Beautiful writing by one of the greatest English novelists of the nineteenth century, both romanticised, as the images indicate, and spurned by the male establishment for her extraordinary writing talent. I think this is her best novel.
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One of the unfinished writings which put Twain out of favour forever with Christians in America's heartland. It fascinates me as no other of his writings do.
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Beautifully illustrated with high quality photographs in the best early twentieth century tradition.
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I have never really wondered before about the origin of the Lone Ranger story, for all I knew about it was the Lone Ranger comics we would read as kids, usually black and white drawings, and the movie/TV versions that came later. So when this showed up as a novel on Gutenberg, I was curious to see where the comics and legends of the 1950s came from.
As an historical document [i.e., the style in which it is written] and not a bad yarn, it's well worth the download. Get the illustrated version. There are some reasonably well-drawn little images which would have inspired the comic-book creators.
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So much for thinking this might be a sojourn with free-spirited people in various parts of the world. It turns out to be something altogether different, and includes all the prejudices, theories and beliefs about humanity that led the world into the worst adventures in the horrors of totalitarianism. It does anticipate one unfortunate fact of life in the twentieth century – the growth of crime syndicates, though not the true reason they established their power. Well illustrated with b&w paintings and sketches.
Fascinating reading. Here's the entire contents summary for your perusal. The Indo-Aryans get a good run!
THE EARLY INHABITANTS OF LANCASHIRE AND THE NEIGHBOURING COUNTIES, AND REMAINS OF THEIR MYTHOLOGY AND LOCAL NOMENCLATURE.
Etymology. Philology. The Aryan theory of the common origin of most
of the European races of men. Sanscrit. The Rig Vedas. Probable
element of truth at the base of Geoffrey of Monmouth's mythical
History of the Britons. The Brigantes. The Phœnicians. The
Hyperboreans. Stonehenge. Bel or Baal, the sun-god. The Persian
Ormusd. Temple of Mithras in Northumberland. The "Bronze age." The
Cushites or Hamites of Ancient Arabia. Palæoliths, or ancient stone
weapons. The Belisama (Ribble). Altars dedicated to Belatucadrus in
the North of England. The Brigantes of the East, Spain, Ireland,
and the North of England. The Aryan fire-god Agni, and his
retainers, the Bhrigus, etc. Altars in the North of England
dedicated to Vitires, Vetiris, or Veteres. Vithris (Odin). Vritra
of the Hindoo Vedas. Altars dedicated to Cocidius, The Styx,
Acheron, and Cocytus of the Greeks. The Coccium of Antoninus, at
Walton, near Preston. Ancient local nomenclature. The Belisama. The
Irish god Samhan. The Aryan god Soma. The "heavenly soma." The
amrita or nectar, the "drink of the gods." Madhu. Mead. Brewing and
lightening. Bel, the luminous deity of the Britons. Deification of
rivers. The Wharf, the Lune, etc. The Solway and Eden (Ituna of
Ptolemy). Idunn, the goddess of youth and beauty. Swan maidens.
Eagle shirts. Frost giants, etc. The "Luck of Eden Hall." Phallic
symbols. The Dee (the Seteia of Ptolemy). Dêvas, deities, evil
spirits, devils. The Severn, Sabrina, Varuna. War between the dêvas
and the asuras. The Vedic serpent, Sesha. The chark. Churning the
sea, or brewing soma. The lake of Amara, or of the gods, and the
Sitanta mountains, at the head of the Nile. The second Avatâra of
Vishnu. The Setantii, ancient inhabitants of Lancashire. The Humber
(the Abus of Ptolemy). The Vedic Arbhus. The Elbe. Elemental
strife. The Wash (the Metaris of Ptolemy). The Vedic Mithra, the
friend of Varuna, the god of daylight. Figurative interpretation.
The origin of language. Page 1
FIRE OR SUN WORSHIP AND ITS ATTENDANT SUPERSTITIONS.
Fire worship denounced by the earlier ecclesiastics. Remnant in
modern times. Allhalloween. Beltain fires. Derbyshire tindles and
Lancashire teanlas. African notions of the Sun and Moon. Bonfires.
The gunpowder plot. Midsummer fires. The elder Aryan fire-gods Agni
and Rudra, and their attendants. Prometheus, the fire-bringer, the
inventor of the chark, or earliest fire-kindling instrument.
Original or "need-fire." Cattle disease. Fire superstitions.
Burning wheels, etc. Sacrifices to the god Bel, and to the sun-god
Fro or Fricco, in the North of England, etc. The feast of St. John
the Baptist. Bone-fires. Dragons and serpents. Agni and the
Midsummer demons. Ahi and Kuyava the destroyers of vegetation. The
great Vedic serpent Sesha. St. George and other dragon slayers.
Dragons, fiery serpents, and huge worms of the North of England,
"blasters of the harvest." The Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf. The
monster Grendel, of Hartlepool. Dragons and imprisoned maidens, and
treasure hid in caves. Merlin's prophecy. Red and white dragons.
Dragon poison converted into medical balm. Figurative
interpretation. The thunderstorm reduces the heat, waters the
parched earth, and promotes vegetable growth. A modern hypothesis
as to the origin of dragon superstitions. Page 28
CHRISTMAS AND YULE-TIDE SUPERSTITIONS AND OBSERVANCES.
Christmas amusements. Date of the nativity. Remnants of pagan
superstition denounced by the Church. Etymology of the word Yule.
Commencement of the year at the vernal equinox. Old and new styles.
Old style yet in use in Lancashire. Clerical denunciation of New
Year's gifts. Curious gifts on New Year's Day in Elizabeth's reign.
The wassail bowl. The Saxon "wacht heil" and "drinc heil." Singular
New Year's day superstitions. Meat, drink, money, and candles
interred with the dead. No fire-light or business credit given on
New Year's day. Recent instances in Lancashire. Divination at
Christmas. Red and dark-haired visitors on New Year's morn.
Antagonism of the Celtic and Teutonic races. Forecasting the
weather. Twelve days' sleep of the Vedic Ribhus in the house of the
sun-god Savitar. The mistletoe and other plants sprung from the
lightning. The oak and the ash. The heavenly asvattha, the _ficus
religiosa_, of the Aryan mythology, the prototype of the yggdrasil
or cloud-tree of the Scandinavians. Merlin's tree that covers Great
Britain and Ireland. Jack and the bean-stalk. Thorns blossoming on
old Christmas eve. German Christmas trees. The boar's head. The
boar an Aryan type of the wind. His tusks the lightning. Popular
belief that pigs can see the wind. Page 53
EASTER SUPERSTITIONS AND CEREMONIES.
Sun dancing on Easter morn. Etymology of the word Easter. Original or
need-fire. Easter eggs. The red or golden egg an Aryan sun-type.
Easter eggs protection against fire. Hand-ball playing by the
clergy. Easter mysteries, moralities, or miracle plays. Paschal or
"pace" eggs. Lancashire "pace-egging." Lifting of women on Easter
Monday, and of men on the following day, a custom still practised
in Lancashire. Cross-buns at Easter. Thor's hammer. Ancient
marriage oaks. Mid-lent or "mothering" Sunday. Simnel cakes.
Curious customs in Lancashire and Shropshire. Etymology of the word
"simnel." Braggat Sunday and Braggat ales. Lenten fare. Beans and
peas. Curious ancient and modern superstitions connected therewith.
Touching for the king's evil. Divine right of kings. Page 70
MAY-DAY CEREMONIES AND SUPERSTITIONS.
Mock battle between summer and winter. The vernal equinox. Joy on the
return of Spring. Bell-ringing and horn-blowing. Midnight gathering
of wild flowers and green branches of trees. May-day garlands and
decorations. Rush-bearing in Lancashire. Well dressing in
Derbyshire. The Roman Floralia. May-poles denounced by the
Puritans. King James I. at Hoghton Tower, Lancashire. Speech about
"libertie to piping and honest recreation." Whitsun-ales and Morris
dances. Washington Irving's first sight of a May-pole at Chester.
Modern May-day ceremonies in Cheshire. Gathering hawthorn blossom.
The _Mimosa catechu_, or sacred thorn of India, sprung from the
lightning. The Glastonbury thorn. Singular superstition respecting
it. Children's love of wild flowers. May-day dew good for ladies'
complexions. May-day dew, the milk of the Aryan heavenly cows
(clouds), believed to increase the milk of their earthly
prototypes. Page 83
The Lancashire witches--Dame Demdike, etc. Witch superstitions of
Aryan origin. Dethroned retainers of the elder gods. The Fates or
Destinies. Waxen and clay images. The doom of Meleager. Reginald
Scot on witchcraft in 1584. Opinions of Wierus, a German
physician, in 1563. Singular confessions of presumed witches.
Numbers put to death. The belief in witchcraft countenanced by the
church, the legislature, and the learned. Sir Kenelm Digby's
opinion. Singular medical superstitions. King James I. and Agnes
Simpson, the Scotch witch. The Lancashire witches and Charles I.
Witchcraft in Hertfordshire in 1761. Ralph Gardiner's Malicious
Invective. A Scotch witchfinder. Matthew Hopkins. Laws relating to
witchcraft in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Draci,
cloud-gods, or water-spirits, with hands perforated like colanders.
Singular tradition of the dun cow at Grimsargh, near Preston.
Witches' influence on the butter and milk of cows. Durham,
Yorkshire, and Warwick dun cow traditions. Red cow milk. Ushas, the
Vedic dawn-goddess. Red heifers set apart for sacrifice. Guy of
Warwick and his porridge pot. Black, white, and grey witches. The
Teutonic _deæ matres_, or mother goddesses. The three Fates. The
weird sisters of Shakspere. The "theatrical properties" of witches
of Aryan origin. The sieve, the cauldron, and the broom or besom.
Witches spirits of the air. Hecate the Pandemonium Diana.
Personifications of elemental strife. The brewing of storms. Aryan
root of these superstitions. Hares disguised witches. Boadicea's
hare. The goddess Freyja and her attendant hares. Singular hare
superstition in Cornwall. "Mad as a March hare." Cats weatherwise
animals. Sailors say a frisky cat has got "a gale of wind in her
tail." Sailors' prejudice against commencing a voyage on a Friday.
Singular charge against the Knights Templars. The broom or besom
represents the implement with which the Aryan demi-gods swept the
sky. A type of the winds. Curious Lancashire custom: hanging out a
besom when the lady of the house is absent, to announce to bachelor
friends that bachelor habits may be indulged in. The broom the
oldest wine-bush. Dutch broom-girls. Eight classes of witches.
Gipsies: their Eastern origin. Modern fortune tellers. The witch's
familiar. Singular Somerset, Middlesex, and Lancashire superstitions
at the present day. Witchcraft amongst the Maories, and in
Equatorial Africa. Deathbed of a Burnley witch, and transference
of her familiar spirit with her last breath. Page 96
FAIRIES AND BOGGARTS.
Puck or Robin Goodfellow. Peris, Pixies, and Ginns. Queen Mab.
Lancashire boggarts and fairies. The bargaist. The fairy of Mellor
Moor, Lancashire. Lumb Farm boggart, near Blackburn. "Boggart Ho'
Clough," near Manchester. George Cheetham's boggart. The devil made
a monk. The headless dog or woman at Preston. Raising the devil.
"Raw head and bloody bones." Edwin Waugh's account of the
Grislehurst boggart. The laying of boggarts. Driving a stake
through the body of a cock buried with the boggart. Sacred or
lightning birds. Superstitions about cocks and hens. Killing a
Lancashire wizard. Cruel sacrifice of chanticleer. Divining by
means of a cock. Boggarts scared by a cock crowing. The cock an
emblem of Æsculapius. The black cock crows in the Niflheim, or
"land of gloom." The lion afraid of a white cock. Father Morolla's
account of the revivification of a dead cock. The cockatrice. A
cruelly slaughtered cock and red cow's milk a sovereign remedy for
consumption. The Scandinavian golden coloured cock's crowing the
signal for the dawn of the Ragnarock, "the great day of arousing."
The Hindoos "cast out devils" by the aid of a cock slaughtered as a
sacrifice. Modern Jewish custom. Game cock feathers in the bed
cause a dying person to linger in pain. Hothersall Hall boggart,
Lancashire, laid beneath a laurel tree, watered with milk. Rowan,
ash, and red thread potential against boggarts, witches, and devils.
Scandinavian and German boggarts. The Hindoo pitris or fathers.
Zwergs, dwarfs, "ancients" or ancestors. Good fairies, elves, etc.
Lord Duffin transported by fairies from Scotland to Paris.
Classical ghost story. Singular superstition, of Eastern character,
at Darwen, Lancashire. A somewhat similar one in Australia. Fairy
rings, their imaginary and real origin. Page 124
FERN-SEED AND ST. JOHN'S-WORT SUPERSTITIONS.
Human invisibility. The helmet of Hades or Pluto, and the Teutonic
"invisible cap." Modern references to this singular superstition.
Ferns, luck-bringing plants. Said to have sprung from the
lightning. St. John's-wort. German story of accidental
invisibility. St John's eve. Fern seed, a love charm. Samuel
Bamford's Lancashire story in "Boggart Ho' Clough," near
Manchester. St. John superseded the Scandinavian Baldr. The
_Osmunda regalis_. _Osmunda_, one of the appellations of Thor.
The vervain, a plant of spells and enchantments. The Sanscrit
parna and the modern fern. Origin of the name "Boggart
Ho' Clough." Page 143
THE SPECTRE HUNTSMAN AND THE FURIOUS HOST.
Hunting the white doe in the Vale of Todmorden, Lancashire. The
"Gabriel Ratchets." The wish-hounds. The "Gabriel hounds" in
Yorkshire. The classic Orion, "the mighty hunter." The classic
white doe and its mediæval descendants. The fair maid of Kent. A
fawn attendant on the Greek deities of the morning. Odin, the wild
huntsman, and the furious host. The Yule host of Iceland.
Personification of storm and tempest. Herod, the "Chasse Maccabei,"
and the Wandering Jew. The "seven whistlers" in Lancashire and
Yorkshire. Restless birds believed to be the souls of the damned
condemned to perpetual motion, on the Bosphorus. The wandering
Odin and his two ravens, representing Thought and Memory. The
Wandering Jew's last appearance in the flesh. Temporary death of
the weather-gods typical of the seasons. Odin slain by the wild
boar. Thammuz and the Greek Adonis. Odin lord of the gallows.
Odin's spear. Roland's "Durandal," the sword of Chrysâôr, of
Theseus, and of Sigurd. Arthur's "Excalibur" and others. Their
Aryan prototype, Indra's thunderbolt. Magic cudgels. The lad and
the "rascally innkeeper." Indra and Vritra, and the Panis. Long
Aryan winters. Hackelberg's coit throwing. King Arthur's similar
exploit in Northumberland. The devil's doings at Kirkby Lonsdale,
at Leyland church, and at Winwick. Etymology of the word "Winwick."
Odin buried in the cloud mountain. Heroes slumbering in caves.
Frederic Barbarossa, Henry the Fowler, Charlemagne, and the
renowned Arthur. Arthur's death and translation to Avalun. The
Eildon Hills and the Sewingshields castle traditions. The
"Helmwind," near Kirkoswald, Cumberland. Sir Tarquin's castle at
Manchester. Arthur's battles on the Douglas. Arthur still alive as
a raven. The Gjallar horn. A Cheshire legend says Arthur reposes in
the "Wizard's Cave," at Alderley Edge. Ancient reputation of
Britain for tempests and pestilential storms. The departure of the
genii. A similar superstition in equatorial Africa. Irish
superstitions. The furious host. Wandering souls of the unquiet
dead. The Aryan Maruts and Ribhus. The approach of the furious
host. The black coach legend. The yelping hound. The stray hound of
Odin. The Lancashire and Dorsetshire black dog fiends. The "Trash"
or "Skriker" of East Lancashire. Cerberus and the Vedic Sarvari.
Hermes and the Vedic Sârameyas. The howling dog, an embodiment of
the wind and herald of death. Recent example of the power of this
superstition in Lancashire. Acute sense of smell probably at the
root of this personification. Dogs supposed to be able to see
spirits. Dr. Marigold's dog and the approach of domestic storms.
Will-o'-whisps, or souls of unbaptised children. The Maruts after a
storm assume the form of new-born babes, as Hermes returned to his
cradle after tearing up the forests. Odin sometimes chases the wild
boar, sometimes Holda, or Bertha, his wife. The hell-hunt. Hell or
Hela, the goddess of death. The English hunt. England the realm of
Hela. Niflheim, the world of mists, and the Greek Hades. Nastrond
and the modern Hell. After death punishment for crimes done in the
body. Valhalla and the Gothic Hell and Devil. Contrast between the
Eastern and Northern notions of Hell, and Shakspere's powerful
description thereof. Wandering spirits of the Greek and Aryan
mythologies. Yorkshire ballad concerning the passage of the soul
over Whinney Moor. Cleveland belief in the efficacy of a gift of a
pair of shoes to a poor man. Salt placed on the stomach of a
corpse. Salt an emblem of eternity and immortality. Flights of
birds. The seven whistlers. The bellowing of cows. Odin and his
host carry off cows. The Milky-way or the _kaupat_ to heaven. The
Ashton heriot. Figurative character of Odin's accessories. Examples
from Greek archæic art of the gradual evolution of mythological
personification from physical phenomena. Orpheus the Aryan Arbhus.
The nightmare. The Maruts. The Valkyrs or wild riders of Germany.
The "Black Lad" of Ashton-under-Lyne. The wild rider. The demon
Tregeagle, or tyrant lord of Cornwall, and his endless labours.
Tam O'Shanter and the witches. Bottomless pools. Sir Francis Drake
and the hearse drawn by headless horses. The wish hounds. Poetic
sympathy. The Ashton "Black Lad" or tyrant lord. Bamford's poem
"The Wild Rider." Earthly heroes substituted for Odin. Page 153
GIANTS, MYTHICAL AND OTHERWISE.
The Giant's Dance, Stonehenge. The Ramayana and giants of Ceylon. The
wild men of Hanno, the Carthaginian. Gorillas. The giants of
Lancashire, Shropshire, Cornwall, Ireland, and India compared.
Gogmagog and Corineus. The Cyclops. Patagonian and other modern
giants. Giants and monsters according to Pliny. Shakspere's
monsters. The Amorites. The giants Og and Sihon. Remains of the
ancient cities of Bashan. Sir Jno. Mandeville's Indian giants. Red
Indian traditions of giants and gigantic pachyderms. Discoveries of
huge fossil bones. Aryan Râkshasas or Atrins (devourers). Giants
and devils. Milton's fallen angels. The trolls and giants of
Scandinavia. Dethroned deities. The Æsir gods. Their overthrow by
the light of the Christian dispensation. Nikarr, an appellation of
Odin, the Old Nick of the present day. Giants degraded forms of
original Aryan personifications of the forces of nature. Ancient
and modern examples. Allegory. Lord Bacon's opinion. Passage into
the heroes of romance. The King Arthur legends. The Anglo-Saxon
poem, Beowulf. The monster Grendel of Hartlepool. The Arthur legend
of Tarquin and Sir Lancelot, at Manchester. The Round table.
Anachronisms in romance literature. The "Sangreal." Urien, the
Arthur of the North of England. The Welsh bards, Taliesin and
Llywarch Hen or the Old. Geoffrey of Monmouth and William of
Newbury. Walter Map. Giants' coits and erratic boulders. Lancashire
and Cheshire giants, near Stockport. Chivalry and the plundering
Barons of the middle ages. Mythical Dwarfs. Tom Thumb. Connection
of Druidical with Brahminical superstition. Page 197
WERE-WOLVES AND THE TRANSMIGRATION OF SOULS.
Bodies of birds and animals supposed to be tenanted by the souls of
men. Instances from Shakspere. The Druids. The Egyptian,
Pythagorean, and the Hindoo Doctrines. The Taliesin romance. The
bell-tolling ox at Woolwich. Were-wolves. Irish were-wolves. King
John a were-wolf. Greek and Roman were-wolves. German were-wolves.
Swan shirts and eagle shirts. Irish Mermaids. Bears. Detection of
were-wolves. Vampires. Witches transformed into cats. Were-wolves,
like witches, burnt at the stake. The witches' magic bridle, which
transformed human beings into horses. Lancashire witches
transformed into greyhounds. Margery Grant, a recently deceased
Scotch witch, sometimes transformed into a pony, and sometimes into
a hare. Men transformed into crocodiles. Owl transformations. The
owl, the baker, and the baker's daughter. Bakers transformed into a
cuckoo and a woodpecker. The White Doe of Rylstone. The Manx wren,
the robin, the stork, etc., each supposed to enshrine the soul of a
human being. Men transformed into leopards, etc., in Africa. Greek
Lykanthropy. Aryan conception of the howling wind as a wolf. The
souls of the damned were-wolves in Hell. The wolf a personification
of the darkness of the Night. Greek forms of this myth in Apollo
and Latona his mother. Personifications of natural phenomena.
Children suckled by wolves. Page 224
SACRED AND OMINOUS BIRDS, ETC.
Sacred Birds. Beautiful Welsh legend of the robin. Stork legends in
Germany. Their nests built upon wheels (sun emblems) placed on the
roofs of houses. Remains in Danish "Kitchen middens." Birds of evil
omen. The owl. Shakspere's profound insight. Cuckoo superstitions.
Transformation of cuckoos into sparrowhawks. The cuckoo the
messenger of Thor. The wren hunted to death in the Isle of Man,
Ireland, and some parts of France. A sacred bird in England.
Swallows and crickets. Ravens, crows, jackdaws, etc., ominous birds.
Lancashire superstitions of this class. The "Seven Whistlers." The
Woodpecker. Picus and Pilumnus. Fire and soul bringers. Weather
prophets. The stormy petrel, the heron, and the crane. The
lady-bird. Rats leaving ships about to founder at sea. Page 242
THE DIVINING OR "WISH"-ROD, AND SUPERSTITIONS RESPECTING TREES AND PLANTS.
Searching for hidden treasure at Cuerdale, near Preston. Midnight
excavations on the site of the Roman station at Walton, near
Preston. How to prepare a divining rod. The rowan tree. Divination
by upright rods. Recent attempt to discover metallic ores by the
divining rod. Anecdote of M. Linnæus. Form of the wish-rod. The
mystic number three. The mistletoe. Neptune's Trident. The
horseshoe, a divining instrument. Other divining instruments. The
mandrake. Resemblance in form to the human body. The caduceus or
the rod of Hermes. Modern conjurer's magic wands. The palasa tree
or the "imperial _mimosa_" of the East. Aryan legend of its
lightning origin. The mountain ash, the thorn, etc. Bishop Heber's
anecdote respecting the Hindoo form of the superstition. African
sacred trees. Recent instances of this superstition in England,
Scotland, and Australia. The pastoral crook, and the lituus, or
staff, of the ancient augurs, etc. Phallic symbols. Novel use of
the Bible. The divining rod but of recent importation into
Cornwall. Recent instances of divination or "dowzing" for water.
Finding drowned bodies. "Corpse candles." Page 252
WELL WORSHIP AND SUPERSTITIONS CONNECTED WITH WATER.
Well worship. Medical virtues of water. Symbol of purity. Sacred
wells. St. Helen's well, at Brindle, near Preston. Curious examples
of local corruption of names. Pin dropping. Pin wells in France,
Wales, Scotland, Northumberland, and the West of England. A form of
divination. Protection against hanging. Other curious forms of this
superstition. Curing rickets in children and insanity. Reported
miraculous cures. Well dressing. Recent death of Margery Grant, a
"Scotch witch," who worked cures with holy water. The deification
of rivers and streams. Ancient lake dwellings, Healing lake in
Scotland. Bottomless pools. Stagnant water. Jenny Greenteeth.
"Nickar, the soulless." Scotch kelpies. Burns's "Address to the
Deil." Superstition on the Solway. African superstition of this
class. Page 267
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