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Five swans over Littleport : fenland folklore and popular memory, c. 1810-1978.

Wood, Andy (2017) 'Five swans over Littleport : fenland folklore and popular memory, c. 1810-1978.', in History after Hobsbawm : writing the past for the twenty-first century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 225-241.


This chapter uses fenland folklore as a way of thinking about the importance of the local. It argues against grand narratives of globalization, to suggest instead that for many working people in the past it was in the context of the small community that social relations were made real and popular culture was felt and sensed. The piece therefore offers a corrective to current—elitist and statist—emphases upon ‘Big History’ and suggests instead that, if social historians are to understand the lived experience of working people in the past, it is necessary to return to local worlds and small communities.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:Wood, Andy (2017). Five swans over Littleport: fenland folklore and popular memory, c. 1810-1978. In History after Hobsbawm: Writing the Past for the Twenty-First Century. Arnold, John H., Hilton, Matthew & Rüger, Jan Oxford: Oxford University Press. 225-241 reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:13 August 2018
Date of first online publication:02 November 2017
Date first made open access:No date available

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