The Anthology of Scottish Folk Tales

The Anthology of Scottish Folk Tales was published by The History Press in 2017. The cover illustration is by Angela Annesley. The book is split up into various areas of Scotland. Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, the Highlands, Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, Argyll, Fife, Midlothian, East Lothian, Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, with local authors and storytellers contributing. I had only heard of one of them, Sheila Kinninmonth, I was in a local history group audience when she told a story, not one in this book. She was quite well-known in her day.

The stories were all new to me, but they weren’t quite what I was expecting somehow. A couple were just local ghost stories. I can see though that if the stories were actually performed as they were meant to be, rather than just read then they might be a lot more entertaining.

I enjoyed most the Highland Origin Myth by Bob Pegg, about how those dastardly wee midges came into being.

I must admit that I gnashed my teeth when I read the story by Claire Druett The Fairy Boy of Leith (Midlothian section) as she writes Carlton Hill, Edinburgh when of course it should be Calton Hill. It’s not the first time I’ve read or heard people wrongly adding in that ‘r’ to Calton but it really should have been corrected by an editor.

I borrowed this book from the library.


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