Uncanny Book Club: Haunted England by Christina Hole

The second book I’ve pulled off my shelves is Christina Hole’s ‘Survey of English Ghost-lore’, ‘Haunted England’. My copy is the 1941 edition from Batsford with the striking John Farleigh cover. ‘Haunted England’ remains the perfect introduction to anyone just getting interested in ghosts. Hole was an accomplished folklorist who wrote a series of accessible works on the various aspects of English folklore. ‘Haunted England’ explores the tropes and themes present in traditional ghost stories, in chapters such as ‘Purposeful Ghosts’, ‘Ghosts of the Great’, ‘Traces of Past Events’ and ‘Animal Ghosts’. Condensed versions of most of the best-known ghost stories from England can be found within.

But the other attraction of ‘Haunted England’ are its numerous weird illustrations. The illustrator, John Farleigh, was well-known in his day both as a fine artists and as a commercial artists, for example for London Transport. He was best-known as a wood engraver. The images he created for ‘Haunted England’ are like no other gracing a work of this kind: often abstract, with distorted perspectives, they are nightmarish yet oddly child-like – and certainly memorable.


About UncannyUK

I am the editor of Uncanny UK (www.uncannyuk.com), a website devoted to British ghosts and folklore. I am the former editor of Paranormal Magazine and the author five books on Welsh folklore. Just launched Apparition Developments, first product of which is Ghost Finder London - an app plotting 300 haunted sites in London for iPhone. I'm a highly experienced journalist and corporate copywriter. I'm an enthusiast on the subjects of UK folklore, the supernatural and antiquities and am fond of old horror and sci-fi movies, cult TV such as Dr Who and I collect Victorian/Edwardian magazines. I also enjoy weird art and macabre literature by the likes of M R James, E F Benson, Algernon Blackwood, W Hope-Hodgson, H P Lovecraft etc. I live in North Wales, which is a very spooky place.
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