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Friday, June 22, 2012

Some classics, some surprises.

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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As an historical document [i.e., the style in which it is written] and not a bad yarn, it's well worth the download.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.


An English Tramp

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Traditions, Superstitions and Folk-lore by Charles Hardwick

Fascinating reading. Here's the entire contents summary for your perusal. The Indo-Aryans get a good run!




  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 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 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



  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



  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



  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



  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



  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



  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



  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 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



  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. 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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