English Folktales Lost and Found

english folktales

English Folktales Lost & Found: Storytelling and Scholarship

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 Tuesday 11 October 2022

 5–6pm (BST)

 Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
Online via Zoom

Booking for this event is now closed.

About the event

Scholars have long lamented the scant records of oral storytelling in England, compared to the riches harvested from Scotland, Denmark or Japan. How do you retrieve a lost tradition? It turns out the English folktale tradition is full of weirdness and wonder—a mirror to ourselves.

Neil Philip and Elizabeth Garner share the development of their new collections of old stories: The Watkins Book of English Folktales and Lost & Found. Their talks will be followed by a discussion exploring the process of recording or rewriting tales, and the crossover between scholarship and creative interpretation.

The authors will be signing copies of their books after the event.


Dr Neil Philip is the author of The Watkins Book of English Folktales. His book Horse Hooves and Chicken Feet won the Aesop Award of the American Folklore Society.

Elizabeth Garner is the author of Nightdancing and The Ingenious Edgar Jones, both of which were influenced by traditional folk tale narratives. Lost & Found is her first collection of rewritten stories.  

The event will be chaired by Professor Diane Purkiss, Professor of English at the University of Oxford, and author of Troublesome Things: A History of Fairies and Fairy Stories.

Booking information

The event is free and open to all but booking is required. When you have booked your place, the ticketing system will send you an automated confirmation.

This event is available to attend in person at the Weston Library or online via Zoom. Details will be confirmed to registrants ahead of the event. If you have booked to attend online, you will receive a link to the Zoom webinar in the week before the event.

Friends of the Bodleian

This talk is supported by the Friends of the Bodleian. To enjoy closer access to the Bodleian, including exclusive events and priority access to online content, join the Friends today.

For more information email fob@bodleian.ox.ac.uk


Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair accessible.

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