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Devoted to the Study of Folklore and Tradition

The Folklore Society (FLS) is a learned society, based in London, devoted to the study of all aspects of folklore and tradition, including: ballads, folktales, fairy tales, myths, legends, traditional song and dance, folk plays, games, seasonal events, calendar customs, childlore and children's folklore, folk arts and crafts, popular belief, folk religion, material culture, vernacular language, sayings, proverbs and nursery rhymes, folk medicine, plantlore and weather lore.

Next Folklore Society Event

“I was Satan’s Roadie”: Tracking the Devil in English Local Lore

  • 26/10/2021
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

J. Harte postcard collection; c.1910, unknown photographer

Jeremy Harte (Curator, Bourne Hall Museum, Ewell, and author of the forthcoming Cloven Country: Legends of the Devil in England) talks about the Devil in local legends. ‘I was Satan’s roadie:’ Tracking the Devil in English local lore Part ogre, part buffoon, the Devil of local legend is very different from the theological one. Where...

More events coming up

Brother Workmen: Solidarity in Trade FolkloreThe Katharine Briggs Lecture and Awards 2021Mermaids: Fish, Flesh or Fowl

Folklore Society News

Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research

Applications are now being accepted for our 2022 Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research, worth up to £1,000. Deadline: Friday 3 December 2021 Click here for more information on how to apply. Here’s a report from Elena Sottilotta, recipient of our 2021 Canziani Bursary, on her field research in Italy on “Women Writing Folklore: Politics of...

FLS Library New Accessions Jan 2020-Sept 2021

Download a spreadsheet of the new books we have added to our Folklore Society Library at University College London Library between January 2020 and September 2021. Contact us at [email protected] for information on how to borrow books from our collection. FLS Library Accessions Jan 2020 to Sept 2021 We are very grateful to Andrew Watson...

The Katharine Briggs Award 2021 Shortlist

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for this year’s Katharine Briggs Award. In alphabetical order, the shortlisted entries are: Lesley Coote, Storyworlds of Robin Hood: The Origins of a Medieval Outlaw (Reaktion Books) Julian Goodare and Martha McGill (eds.), The Supernatural in Early Modern Scotland (Manchester University Press) Jonathan Y. H. Hui, Vilmundar saga...

All FLS News back issues now available in the Members’ area

All issues of our newsletter FLS News, from No.1, 1985 to the most recent issue, are now available as pdfs in the Members area of our website, as well as earlier newsletters 1980-83, and Derek Froome’s index of FLS News Nos.1-50, 1985-2006. Just log in to the Members only area: https://folklore-society.com/wp-login.php If you’ve forgotten your log...

‘Henry Glassie: Field Work’

Henry Glassie: Field Work: at The Folklore Society Click here to buy a ticket to watch the film for £4.99 (UK only) Directed by Pat Collins Documentary | English/Portuguese | 105 min Distributed in the UK by New Wave Films From the director of Song of Granite and Silence comes this new documentary study of the...

The Katharine Briggs Award 2020

We are delighted to announce that the winner of The Katharine Briggs Award 2020 is William G. Pooley, Body and Tradition in Nineteenth-Century France: Félix Arnaudin and the Moorlands of Gascony, 1870-1914, published by Oxford University Press. And the runner-up is Jonathan L. READY, Orality, Textuality, and the Homeric Epics: An Interdisciplinary Study of Oral...

Past Presidents of The Folklore Society

Dr Ross Macfarlane has very kindly compiled a list of all of our past Presidents on the Wikipedia entry for The Folklore Society: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Folklore_Society#Presidents Thanks Ross

The Katharine Briggs Award 2020

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the Katharine Briggs Award 2020, which was postponed from last November to 23 February 2021. The shortlist is in alphabetical order: Karl BELL (ed), Supernatural Cities: Enchantment, Anxiety and Spectrality (Boydell Press) Deirdre MASK, The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power...

Non-Print Media Award 2021

Unfortunately, owing to pandemic conditions, we were not able to solicit entries to make a 2020 award viable. We remain committed to the Award, however, which seems to be more important than ever given the situation confronting publishers, and will be holding it in 2021. We are extending the eligibility period this year, to cover...

Extract from FLS News no.92, Nov 2020

Here’s an item from our newsletter FLS News no. 92, November 2020, by Andrew Bennett: NEW CUSTOMS: CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS Folklorists are good at looking at old customs, and particularly vanishing ones; we should pay more attention to emerging ones. Take Christmas decorations for example. Decorative mistletoe, holly, and Christmas trees have been around at least since...

Anatoly Liberman responds to John Hines’s Review

After the publication of John Hines’s review of Anatoly Liberman’s book In Prayer and Laughter: Essays on Medieval Scandinavian and Germanic Mythology, Literature, and Culture (Paleograph Press, 2016), in Folklore 131, no. 3 (September 2020), Prof. Liberman sent us the following response, and Prof. Hines sent the reply that follows the response below. Response:  Author’s...

We Herts Folklorists 4!

Here is our fourth and final post for a special weekly blog series we’ll be running over the next few weeks, showcasing some of the wonderful talent of people who have recently completed or are currently undertaking the MA in Folklore Studies at the University of Hertfordshire. Throughout this series you will see some great folklore-inspired...


Courses in Folklore Studies

Here’s a selection of courses and classes on folklore studies at various different levels ranging from learning for fun to Masters and PhD.   MA in Folklore Studies at University of Hertfordshire Exciting news for anyone in England wanting to turn their interest in folklore into an academic qualification: the University of Hertfordshire offer a...

Fund-Raising for The Folklore Society

Following our move to 50 Fitzroy Street, the Society’s annual costs for office accommodation have significantly increased, so we are inviting all members and friends of The Folklore Society to support us by making donations via our Charities Aid Foundation page at CAF Donate: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/11322

Folklore query? Ask the Folklorists

If you have a folklore enquiry, email us at thefolkloresociety @gmail.com and we will try our best to answer it or to refer you to someone else who can. Follow us on Twitter @FolkloreSociety and on our Folklore Society Facebook page

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) is England’s designated library and archive dedicated to English folk song and dance. Located at Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society, it contains an inspiring collection of books, sound, film, photographs, and special archival collections. A number of the VWML’s archival collections and other important...

Other Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

Please submit this online form if you would like us to publicise your event on our website.


Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture: Call for Papers

  • Start date: 13th Jul 2021
  • End date: 1st Nov 2021
  • online

Journal of Victorian Popular Fictions, issue 5.2 (Autumn 2023), Call for Papers on “Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture”. The issue will be guest edited by Naomi Hetherington and Clare Stainthorp. A 500-word abstract and short biography in Word should be submitted to [email protected] by 1 November 2021. Final articles to be submitted by 30 September 2022....

North Lincolnshire Museum – Folklore

  • Date: 23rd Oct 2021
  • North Lincolnshire Museum

Common Ground Lincs are excited to be working again with North Lincolnshire Museum to create an exhibition of contemporary artworks made in response to folklore. Our curators are seeking works that explore themes of folklore and stories, traditional customs, folk music, folk medicine, witchcraft, and magic. Artwork can be of any medium. Including, but not limited to, painting, ph...

Diversity in Folk

  • Start date: 13th Nov 2021
  • End date: 14th Nov 2021
  • Cecil Sharp House, London

Diversity in Folk: Call for Papers The annual conference of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library will take place on 13 and 14 November 2021 at Cecil Sharp House in London. Its theme will be ‘Diversity in Folk’. Send proposals for papers, 400 words max, by 30 July...