Arcadia Britannica

Arcadia Britannica

A Modern British Folklore Portrait

  1. Henry Bourne
  2. Preface by Robin Muir
  • ISBN 9780500517970
  • 26.00 x 19.50 cm
  • PLC (no jacket)
  • 192pp
  • 125 Illustrations, 125 in colour
  • First published 2015
‘An affectionate collection of notables and oddballs from the UK’s flourishing folklore scene’ – Royal Photographic Society Journal
‘A vibrant and defiant celebration of the British folklore scene … a spectacular visual portrait of Britain at its most eccentric’– Tatler
'Indicates that what really matters about folklore is that it is protean, constantly evolving, adapting to the present even while rewriting its own past'– World of Interiors
‘In quiet corners of England, something bizarre is going on’– Guardian

Arcadia Britannica

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.

Arcadia Britannica

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.

• Includes a Calendar of British Folklore Events

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.