The Best Books On British Folklore And Customs

The Books I Picked & Why

In Search of England: Journeys into the English Past

By Michael Wood

In Search of England: Journeys into the English Past

Why this book?

Wood is known for his stellar television documentaries, but he’s also a prolific and talented author. This gem of a book delves into some of the most famous legends of English/British folklore, ones that still capture the popular imagination. He then examines some key historical events and people from the earlier Middle Ages, and their importance even now. Written in an engaging style, it’s an excellent introduction to the roots and origins of so much British culture.     


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain

By Ronald Hutton

The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain

Why this book?

As the title implies, this book is a comprehensive survey of the many kinds of rituals and observances for different seasons to mark the passage of the year, reaching far back into history and pre-history. While many of these celebrations are no longer observed, some have endured and found popularity throughout the world. This is a fascinating look into British traditions and folklore, both those of pagan origin and those taken over or refitted by Christianity in more recent times.  


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Way of Wyrd

By Brian Bates

The Way of Wyrd

Why this book?

This intriguing novel tells the story of a young Christian monk, Brand, who is sent to find and learn from a Saxon shaman/sorcerer, Wulf. The shaman turns Brand’s life upside down, introducing him to a strange, mysterious, and magical world that Brand never imagined existed. Written like a modern spiritual quest, but set in Anglo-Saxon England, the novel is an ingenious combination of old and new, inspired by charms and healings in a thousand-year-old manuscript in the British Library.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain

By Bill Bryson

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain

Why this book?

Bill Bryson is an international treasure, a keen observer of the modern quirks and foibles of his fellow humans all over the world. His wit and ability to good-naturedly skewer just about anything and anyone are a marvel to read. This book is perhaps a sequel to his earlier work, Notes from a Small Island, but both provide valuable insights into British culture and its many charms and annoyances. Hilarious!


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Why this book?

This classic modern fantasy by Gaiman and Pratchett is a brilliant blend of folklore, history, end-of-the-world scenarios, British humor, and some genuine sweetness and humanity, as two angels become the unlikely saviors of a world on the brink of ending. Their adventures across modern Britain as they try to save everything are a marvel. The apocalypse has never been so much fun! 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Random Book Lists