Bookcover: The Seasons: An Elegy for the Passing of the Year

Rural traditions book shortlisted for folk award

An acclaimed book about English rural traditions has been shortlisted for a national folklore award. ‘The Seasons: An Elegy for the Passing of the Year’ written by University of Exeter English Professor Nick Groom has been nominated for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award.

The annual book prize was established by the Folklore Society in 1982 to encourage the study of folklore and to celebrate the life and work of the distinguished scholar Katharine Mary Briggs (1898-1980). The winner will be announced in November.

Prof Nick Groom’s book celebrates the traditional connections between human lives, the seasons, and the natural world. The book acknowledges that before the majority of the population migrated to towns and cities, the people of England were in a much more intimate relationship with the seasons, knitted into the rhythms of the year through a wealth of weather lore and wisdom accumulated over centuries. Local agriculture provided the vast majority of the nation’s food, the welfare of England was effectively dependent on the weather, which had a defining impact on the harvests and consequently the economy, politics, and policy. It also made a huge difference to the wellbeing, health, and ultimately the survival of the population.

Professor Groom, who is based at the Penryn Campus said:“The nomination suggests that the book has reached out to the community of folklore scholars who for many years have done our country a wonderful service by collecting and analysing our indigenous and intangible culture. I hope that together we will be able to ensure that the 'harvest home' of English customs will be preserved for - and adapted by - future generations.”

Date: 13 October 2014

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