In The Fabled Coast, renowned folklorists Sophia Kingshill and Jennifer Westwood gather together the most enthralling tales and traditions, tracing their origins and examining the facts behind the legends. Was there ever such a beast as the monstrous Kraken? Did a Welsh prince discover America, centuries before Columbus? What happened to the missing crew of the Mary Celeste? Along the way, they recount the stories that are an integral part of our coastal heritage, such as the tale of Drake’s Drum, said to be heard when England was in peril, and the mythical island of Hy Brazil, which for centuries appeared on sea charts and maps to the west of Ireland. The result is an endlessly fascinating, often surprising journey through our island history.
More than simply retelling these stories, The Lore of Scotland explores their origins, showing how and when they arose and investigating what basis - if any - they have in historical fact. In the process, it uncovers the events that inspired Shakespeare's Macbeth, probes the claim that Mary King's Close is the most haunted street in Edinburgh, and examines the surprising truth behind the fame of the MacCrimmons, Skye's unsurpassed bagpipers. Moreover, it reveals how generations of Picts, Vikings, Celtic saints and Presbyterian reformers shaped the myriad tales that still circulate, and, from across the country, it gathers together legends of such renowned figures as Sir William Wallace, St Columba, and the great warrior Fingal. The result is a thrilling journey through Scotland's legendary past and an endlessly fascinating account of the traditions and beliefs that play such an important role in its heritage.