Superstitions: Omens, Charms, Cures 1787

Superstitions: Omens, Charms, Cures 1787

by Francis Grose
     
 

Superstitions are surprisingly enduring. From dodging black cats to crossing one’s fingers while making a wish to an aversion to staff meetings on Friday the thirteenth, it is remarkable how many superstitions remain intact—even in this age of rationalism and swift scientific advancement.

First published in 1787 as part of the disparate collection A

Overview

Superstitions are surprisingly enduring. From dodging black cats to crossing one’s fingers while making a wish to an aversion to staff meetings on Friday the thirteenth, it is remarkable how many superstitions remain intact—even in this age of rationalism and swift scientific advancement.

First published in 1787 as part of the disparate collection A Provincial Glossary, with a Collection of Local Proverbs, and Popular Superstitions, Francis Grose’s Superstitions represents years of careful data collection and fieldwork and presents a full catalog of ways the supernatural might be expected to interfere in one’s life. Organized thematically into chapters like “Witches, Sorcerers, and Witchcraft,” “Things Lucky and Unlucky,” “Second Sight,” “Omens,” and “Superstitious Methods of Obtaining a Knowledge of Future Events,” Superstitions offers a systematic overview of the superstitious beliefs of the day as well as those held by earlier generations. Here, Grose’s work is reproduced under its original headings and supplemented by an informative introduction by Oxford English Dictionary editor John Simpson, setting the superstitions in proper historical and cultural context.
          
The resulting collection is a delightfully quirky guide to traditional sayings and beliefs, many archaic but some still surprisingly common today.

Editorial Reviews

Deborah Harkness

“A delightful glimpse into enduring English folklore and beliefs. Written in the latter part of the eighteenth century, the book delves into matters natural and supernatural to explain why ghosts never appear on Christmas Eve and the magical power hidden in ordinary toads. A charming and illuminating read that is surprising in its detail and satisfying in its scope.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781851242863
Publisher:
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Publication date:
03/15/2012
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
1,346,159
Product dimensions:
3.70(w) x 4.80(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Francis Grose (1731-91) was an English antiquary and lexicographer whose other works include The Antiquities of England and Wales and A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

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