When the writer was a parson in Yorkshire, he had in his parish a blacksmith blessed, or afflicted-which shall we say?-with seven daughters and not a son. Now the parish was a newly constituted one, and it had a temporary licensed service room; but during the week before the newly erected church was to be consecrated, the blacksmith's wife presented her husband with a boy-his first boy. Then the blacksmith came to the parson, and the following conversation ensued: - Blacksmith: -Please, sir, I've gotten a little lad at last, and I want to have him baptised on Sunday.- Parson: -Why, Joseph, put it off till Thursday, when the new church will be consecrated; then your little man will be the first child christened in the new font in the new church.- Blacksmith (shuffling with his feet, hitching his shoulders, looking down): -Please, sir, folks say that t' fust child as is baptised i' a new church is bound to dee (die). T' old un (the devil) claims it. Now, sir, I've seven little lasses, and but one lad. If this were a lass again 'twouldn't 'a' mattered; but as it's a lad-well, sir, I won't risk it.
This remarkably diverse collection of historical ghost stories includes something for everyone -- true horror tales, psychological suspense, parables with a fable-like quality, and myths specific to particular cultures. It's a satisfyingly broad collection that reaches far beyond the stale, narrow smattering of Victorian ghost stories found in many collections from the same era.
Sabine Baring-Gould was a Vicar in the Church of England in Devon, an archaeologist, folklorist, historian and a prolific author. Baring-Gould was also a bit eccentric. He reputedly taught classes with a pet bat on his shoulder. He is best known for writing the hymn 'Onward Christian Soldiers'. This book is one of the most cited references about werewolves. The Book of the Were-Wolf takes a rationalistic approach to the subject. The book starts off with a straightforward academic review of the literature of shape-shifting; however, starting with Chapter XI, the narrative takes a strange turn into sensationalistic 'true crime' case-studies of cannibals, grave desecrators, and blood fetishists, which have a tenuous connection with lycanthropy. This includes an extended treatment of the case of Giles de Rais, the notorious associate of Joan of Arc, who was convicted and executed for necrosadistic crimes.
Anglican priest and scholar Sabine Baring-Gould had a voracious and wide-ranging intellect, which over the course of his career led to the publication of over 1,000 books and collections in various genres ranging from fiction to folklore. In the Roar of the Sea is a novel that follows the travails of the Trevisa family as they struggle to navigate the aftermath of a tragedy.
Set in the Surrey area of southeast England and rich in local color, Sabine Baring-Gould's novel The Broom-Squire gives an account of a vicious murder that leaves an infant orphaned. She is rescued by a man of humble means and raised in his quaint and quirky community.
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