Ever wondered why we touch wood, salute magpies, skip over cracks and throw salt over our shoulders? Then Sally Coulthard has the answer as she gets under the skin of these peculiar pastimes in her new book Superstition. Exploring the history and background of fifty of these fascinating cultural behaviours, discover how they affected our everyday life and why many of these beliefs are still pertinent today. Superstitions reveal the hopes, fears and preoccupations of our ancestors and give a fascinating glimpse into how they lived. Seemingly bizarre folk beliefs and practices – in farming, marriage, craft, love, feasting, birth and death – often have their roots in real-life worries and desires. By looking at the material circumstances and challenging environments of our forefathers we start to understand how strange rituals and rules give comfort and reassurance, whether it’s hoping for a good harvest, wishing our loved ones a safe journey or trying for a baby.
Pick a side. This is a book with two covers, giving you the chance to decide if you want to enter the light or dark side. With its gorgeous folk illustrations and light-hearted tone, Superstition aims not only to give readers a fascinating insight into recent history but also bring a smile of recognition that, perhaps, we’ve got more in common with our superstitious ancestors than we’d care to admit.
Hardcover. By Sally Coulthard.