Barghest, Bear Ghost, Old Shuck, Old Ben… The Black Dog!
I have always been fascinated with the various stories of spirits that inhabit the British Isles, but among them all, the Black Dog has been the spirit that has captured my attention so completely. Mark Norman’s book “Black Dog Folklore” has given me far more information on this subject than I had ever thought I would find in one place.
This is another of the fine books available from Cornish publisher Troy Books, so the bindings never disappoint in their beauty. The cover shown on the left is from the paperback version, we would recommend either the beautiful red or black hardcover versions for that truly old-world library feel!
The book opens with a look into what the Black Dog is from a wide variety of descriptions from around the United Kingdom, giving the reader a general feeling of the entity that we are about to explore. Throughout the book the author makes sure to introduce the various names for this enigmatic spiritual creature.
This is especially useful for readers who may not have encountered the Black Dog before.
Each chapter then explores the phenomenon of the Black Dog as they appear in various aspects; as family spirits, protectors, omens and portents and of guardians of special places, among others.
The books is completed by a whopping 56 page Appendix giving a listing of hundreds of sightings and accounts from around the United Kingdom in which I was excited to see that my local Black Dog of Aylesbury has been recorded.
Eight pages in the centre of the book are dedicate to black and white photos and images relating to the folklore of the Barghest and throughout the book there are various other illustrations created from various descriptions of the beast.
Parallels are drawn between the Black Dog and deities from other cultures including Egyptian Anubis and Greek Cerberus.
Despite the academic approach to the subject this book is easy to read and is a must for those who would enjoy an in depth study of this fascinating and occasionally frightening aspect of British Folklore.
If you would like to buy your own copy of Black Dog Folkore you can purchase it from Troy books at this link: http://www.troybooks.co.uk/black-dog-folklore.html
You can find out more about Mark Norman you can visit his Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/marknormanfolklore/
And you can follow Mark’s fascinating Folklore Podcast here: http://www.thefolklorepodcast.com/