Thames & Hudson Spring 2015

Page 85



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Arcadia Britannica A Modern British Folklore Portrait Henry Bourne • Introduction by Simon Costin Henry Bourne is a photographer whose editorial clients include Vogue, Arena Homme Plus, Vanity Fair, World of Interiors, W and Wallpaper*. Simon Costin is the founder and director of the Museum of British Folklore and director of the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall.

c. 120 colour illustrations 26.0 x 19.5cm 192pp ISBN 978 0 500 517970 June


An affectionate book of portraits of British folklore enthusiasts dressed in their finery and strange spectacular costumes Folklore is a living cultural heritage. Folk beliefs, customs and expressions link the past to the present and help us understand our specific cultures, as well as a shared humanity. Founded on pagan Celtic, Germanic and early Christian roots, British folklore – far from being a quaint anachronism – is thriving, and remains vibrant and relevant by adapting to new circumstances, with the ‘folk’ (people), and the ‘lore’ (stories) continually informing and influencing each other. There are many recorded folk events, rites and customs practised in the UK each year, with some events drawing crowds of thousands. Most involve dance, theatre, music and a fair amount of good-natured revelry. Henry Bourne’s folklore portraits, shot in ‘the wild’ at key events and festivals, take a fond look at the people from Morris dancers to practising witches and warlocks who shy away from a world increasingly disconnected from nature and those who actively celebrate a rich tradition that honours our connection with the seasons, the land and community. Photography 83

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