Jonathan Hui Wins the Katharine Briggs Award 2021
We are delighted to announce that the winner of The Katharine Briggs Award 2021 is
Jonathan Y. H. Hui, Vilmundar saga viðutan. The Saga of Vilmundur the Outsider, published by The Viking Society for Northern Research. Congratulations Jonathan.
We also congratulate the joint Runners-up:
Julian Goodare and Martha McGill (eds.), The Supernatural in Early Modern Scotland (Manchester University Press), and
Donna Schatt and Patrick Ryan, Story Listening and Experience in Early Childhood (Palgrave Macmillan)
The Judges’ Comments on all the Shortlisted Entries
Jonathan Y. H. Hui, Vilmundar saga viðutan. The Saga of Vilmundur the Outsider (Viking Society for Northern Research)
Apart from offering a composite text of the saga, in both modern English and Icelandic Old Norse, this is to be welcomed for its copious and thorough scholarly introduction, in which Hui exhaustively explains how the text has been assembled, covers its history and sources, and explains why the tale might realistically be considered the ur-version of the modern European tale of Cinderella. Painstaking scholarship at its finest.
Julian Goodare and Martha McGill (eds.), The Supernatural in Early Modern Scotland (Manchester University Press): A well-curated choice of topics – some of which are unusual – in a really coherent collection, with pays proper attention to the specificities of the Scottish Reformation. A great deal of context is provided, with excellent discussions of modern perspectives on the historical material, where relevant. It also approaches the experiential basis of supernatural beliefs in a manner that is neither credulous nor dismissive.
Donna Schatt and Patrick Ryan, Story Listening and Experience in Early Childhood (Palgrave Macmillan): This is an important book, which brings various threads of literature together nicely, to produce a really valuable piece of work. Among other things, there is a particularly interesting discussion of the relationship between oral storytelling and learning to read. A practical and theoretically-informed guide for nascent storytellers, with good resource signposting, academic folklorists are recommended to pay attention, as well!
Lesley Coote, Storyworlds of Robin Hood (Reaktion Books): This is a very good book, which lays out the roots of the Robin Hood stories in medieval England and France with clarity and style. The author makes a good job of hitting that tricky ground in between an academic and general audience.
Raphael Chijioke Njoku, West African Masking Traditions and Diaspora Masquerade Carnivals (Boydell & Brewer/University of Rochester Press): A work that will be important to scholars of the history of west Africa and its diaspora. a veritable hurricane of ideas, with an emphasis upon the complexity and plasticity over time of folklore.
Vaughn Scribner, Merpeople (Reaktion Books): A comprehensive, highly readable, accessible and beautifully illustrated account of the human fascination with merfolk.
Marrek Tuszewicki, A Frog Under the Tongue, translated by Jessica Taylor-Kucia (The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization). Given the work’s quality, we have exercised our scope for discretion in mentioning a translation. The scope of this study is wider than ‘folk medicine’, delving as it does into many aspects of Eastern and Central European Jewish folk belief and practice, and it is everything a scholarly study should be.
We would like to thank all the authors and publishers who supported The Katharine Briggs Award by entering their books for the award