Observations on Popular Antiquities 2 Volume Set : Chiefly Illustrating the Origin of our Vulgar Customs, Ceremonies and Superstitions
Part of the Cambridge Library Collection - Spiritualism and Esoteric Knowledge series
John Brand (1744-1806), secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, first published his widely popular Observations on Popular Antiquities in 1777.
This fascinating almanac of British superstitions and customs was in fact a heavily revised and annotated version of Henry Bourne's Antiquitates vulgares (1725).
Beginning with New Year's Eve, Volume 1 describes the origins and practices of British calendar festivals including religious holidays, saints' days, and seasonal celebrations.
Volume 2 concerns the origins and practices of British customs and ceremonies, including marriage and funeral customs.
Following the success of the book's initial reception, Brand continued to research English folklore with the intention of publishing fuller information.
This two-volume version, published posthumously in 1813, was edited and expanded by Sir Henry Ellis, Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum, and further revisions also appeared in 1841 and 1870.
Brand's book is regarded as the foundation for folklore studies in England.