Against taxonomy : the fairy families of Cornwall
Title: Against taxonomy : the fairy families of Cornwall
Author: YOUNG, Simon
Citation: Cornish Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 223-237
In this article Simon Young discusses the return of folklorists attention towards Cornish folklore in the latter half of nineteenth century. Young shows how Robert Hunt, William Bottrell and others began their assiduous collection of Cornish folk tales, part of an upsurge in such interest in Europe generally but also a nascent antiquarian Celtic revivalism, akin to W. B. Yeats’s ‘Celtic Twilight’ in Ireland. Whilst Hunt demanded taxonomic clarity, Young detects in Bottrell a resistance to categorization, which he finds instructive. Young concludes, if Cornish folklore studies are to progress then we need to be wary of nineteenth century over-categorization and, in his estimation, become a little more like William Bottrell and rather less like Robert Hunt.
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