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Arcadia Britannica

A Modern British Folklore Portrait

Henry Bourne

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A unique collection of portraits of British folklore enthusiasts dressed in their finery

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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.

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'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'

'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'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 26.0 x 19.5 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 125

Publication date: 1 June 2015

ISBN: 9780500517970

Contents List

Preface by Robin Muir • Introduction by Simon Costin • The Portraits • A Gazetteer of Folklore Events Throughout the Year • A Folklore Map of the British Isles

About the Author

Henry Bourne is an international portrait, lifestyle and interiors photographer whose editorial clients include Vogue, The Arena Homme Plus, The Vanity Fair, The World of Interiors and Wallpaper*. He was assistant to Mario Testino before setting up his own practice.

Robin Muir is a writer and curator, specializing in photography. He was formerly a picture editor at British Vogue and The Sunday Times Magazine. He writes frequently for the international press, and his many publications include The World’s Most Photographed, Vogue Covers and David Bailey: Chasing Rainbows.

List of Contributors

Robin Muir, Simon Costin

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