The Katharine Briggs Award 2022
We are delighted to announce that the winner of The Katharine Briggs Award 2022 is:
Folklore, Magic, and Witchcraft: Cultural Exchanges from the Twelfth to Eighteenth Century,
Edited by Marina Montesano, and published by Routledge.
We also congratulate the three joint runners-up:
Martin Graebe (ed.), The Forgotten Songs of the Upper Thames: Folk Songs from the Alfred Williams Collection (The Ballad Partners)
Peter Harrop and Steve Roud (eds), The Routledge Companion to English Folk Performance (Routledge)
Simon Young, The Boggart: Folklore, History, Place-names and Dialect (University of Exeter Press)
The prize was presented to Professor Montesano at The Brockway Room, Conway Hall, London, following the Katharine Briggs Lecture by Katherine Langrish: “Fenrir’s Fetter and the Power of Stories,” on Tuesday 8 November 2022.
Judges’ Report on the Shortlisted Entries:
Marina Montesano, Folklore, Magic, and Witchcraft: Cultural Exchanges from the Twelfth to Eighteenth Century (Routledge):
A high-quality edited collection with a global scope and diverse set of contributors. The work transcends national and regional constraints to understand cultural expressions as part of a wider circulation of forms and meanings. Bringing a fresh approach with lively and well-constructed arguments, the book truly showcases the complexity and dynamic creativity of popular culture.
The Joint Runners-up
Martin Graebe (ed.), The Forgotten Songs of the Upper Thames: Folk Songs from the Alfred Williams Collection (The Ballad Partners): With refreshingly progressive and humane historical methodologies, this collection introduces the lyrics of over 200 previously unpublished songs from the Upper Thames area–and presents a unique insight into the life and work of Alfred Williams. A noteworthy and well-written book presenting a quirky figure with a lasting legacy.
Peter Harrop and Steve Roud (eds), The Routledge Companion to English Folk Performance (Routledge): This important work offers an impressive array of topics that are skilfully tied together, from drama and dance to song and music, covering the historical to the contemporary. With a high level of quality scholarship running throughout, this is a book that should appear on every folklorist’s bookshelf.
Simon Young, The Boggart: Folklore, History, Place-names and Dialect (University of Exeter Press): This is meticulously and reflectively researched, with rigorous academic argumentation, yet also eminently readable. While covering the wide philosophical and ethical debates surrounding interpreting, collecting and studying folklore generally, it doesn’t fail to pin down the material with ease–from delivering an in-depth study of historical toponymics, to a diagram depicting the ‘folk taxonomy of Boggartdom’. A delight in every way.
M.J. Grant, Auld Lang Syne: A Song and its Culture (Open Book Publishers): A fascinating exploration of the intricacies of the song’s lifecycle and incarnations, with added context for the more general reader. The author’s writing style is lively, and her passion for the subject shines through. Scholarly yet readable, this is fantastic book for academics and enthusiasts alike. QR codes throughout add to its accessibility.
Daniel Ogden, The Dragon in the West: From Ancient Myth to Modern Legend (Oxford University Press): A well-researched, comprehensive and eminently readable treatment of a classic folklore topic.
Francis Young (ed. & transl.), Pagans in the Early Modern Baltic. Sixteenth-Century Ethnographic Accounts of Baltic Paganism (ARC Humanities Press): A thoughtfully curated collection on a hitherto little-covered topic, amounting to an impressive academic study. It is a beautiful example of how scholarship–expert, dedicated and precise scholarship–speaks to bigger historical and geo-political themes.
We thank the authors and publishers of all 33 entries for supporting The Katharine Briggs Award by entering their books into the competition.