M[arie] C[lothilde] Balfour, “Legends of the Lincolnshire Cars”

Folk-Lore, 2, 145–170, 257–283, and 401–418 (1891)

Balfour collected these ten folktales in the Lincolnshire Carrs (or Cars in her spelling), the wetlands of north Lincolnshire that lie between Lincoln Edge and the Wolds. She attempts to record them in the local dialect, but sometimes falls into idioms that belong to her native Scotland rather than Lincolnshire.

Balfour (a cousin of R. L. Stevenson) was a skilful story-teller, and some of her tales have become popular through retellings by Kevin Crossley-Holland and others. Yet, because these tales are so striking and unusual, their authenticity has sometimes been questioned.

These folktales are being studied by Maureen James, whose website includes a summary of her research and a glossary of dialect words.

Part I: Introduction
Tiddy Mun
The Dead Moon
A Pottle o’ Brains
Part II: Introduction
The Green Mist
Yallery Brown
The Dead Hand
The Strangers’ Share
Part III: Introduction
The Flyin’ Childer
Fred th’ Fool
Sam’l’s Ghost
Coat o’ Clay (as told by M. C. Balfour)
Are the legends authentic?
My Own Self: did Balfour plagiarize it?
E-book cover