Friday, September 5, 2014

The Ingoldsby Legends

Written by: Richard Harris Barham

First line: One the lone bleak moor, At the midnight hour, Beneath the Gallows Tree, Hand in hand The Murderers stand By one, by two, by three!

Why you should read this book: You really don't realize how old some legends are until you read them in an almost-200-year-old book of laborious poetry. People in the nineteenth century were probably really creeped out by these rhyming stories of witches, ghosts, demons, and various other dead and creepy things, although modern readers will most likely find them quaint at best. An interesting slice of the history of popular culture.

Why you shouldn't read this book: The writing is frankly tedious. Plus, unless you have a fair grasp of nineteenth century vernacular and some idea about English history, a lot of it will just be perplexing.

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