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Allan Cunningham’s Traditional Tales is a selection of folk stories steeped in the traditions and popular literature of southern Scotland and northern England. Originally published in 1822, this was one of the earliest collections of folktales ever produced in Britain. Operating within the debateable land between fact and fancy, mixing the natural and supernatural, they blur the distinction between the oral traditions of the distant past and emerging ideas of literature and modernity. Cunningham’s Traditional Tales form an essential part of folkloric history, as well as being fascinating stories in their own right.
Allan Cunningham (1784–1842) was a poet and songwriter. Born in Dumfriesshire, he corresponded with numerous Scottish authors of the day, including James Hogg and Sir Walter Scott, and published extensively in Scotland and England.
Note on the Text
TRADITIONAL TALES OF THE ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH PEASANTRY
The Selbys of Cumberland. Part First
The Selbys of Cumberland. Part Second
The Selbys of Cumberland. Part Third
Placing a Scottish Minister
The King of the Peak
The Mother’s Dream
Miles Colvine, the Cumberland Mariner
Honest Man John Ochiltree
Elphin Irving, the Fairies’ Cupbearer
Richard Faulder, Mariner
The Last Lord of Helvellyn
Judith Macrone, the Prophetess
The Ghost with the Golden Casket
The Haunted Ships
Death of the Laird of Warlsworm
The Seven Foresters of Chatsworth; an Ancient Derbyshire Ballad
A: Traditional Literature. No. I
B: The Twelve Tales of Lyddalcross. Introductory
C: Allan Cunningham’s Contributions to the London Magazine
D: Emendation List
Cover image: ‘A Galloway Idyll’, by Edward Atkinson Hornel (1890)
Courtesy of Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh
Cover design: Mark Blackadder.
Last updated 1 June 2012.