Think of English folk music today and what comes to mind is Seth Lakeman, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons, perhaps even Noah and the Whale or the Bombay Bicycle Club. The seeds of the English folk music revival were, however, sown much earlier, by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, over a century ago. He was the central figure in the English musical renaissance of the first half of the twentieth century. His interest in folk-song, the tradition of amateur music making and the works of Byrd and Purcell enabled him to escape from the European romantic inheritance of his predecessors and create a new and personal style, which created the conditions in which others could do the same. Although he was born in Gloucestershire, Vaughan Williams had Welsh blood in his veins, and this strong Celtic heritage is perhaps what first attracted him to the body of British myth and folklore in which he retained an abiding interest throughout his life. He even makes a fictionalized cameo appearance in perhaps the finest British fantasy novel of the last quarter of a century, Robert Holdstock’s Lavondyss. Here he encounters the young protagonist Tallis Keeton during her formative years and appears in typical song-collecting mode. Such an episode would have been very much in character for the real Vaughan Williams, who was an inveterate raconteur and collector of songs as stories throughout his life. In this sense Vaughan Williams has made as much of a contribution to the rediscovery and preservation of the English folk tradition as Holdstock, Tolkien or any other prose artist that this land has ever produced.
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The Inn at the Edge of the World
The Witch of Wicken Fen
Hour of the Wolf
The Chronicles of Merlin
- The Weird and Wonderful World of Disney
- The Extraordinary Journeys of Jules Verne
- The Witch of Wicken Fen
- An Interview with William Horwood
- Spirits of the Sacred Skies
- The Fantasy World of Christmas
- Philadelphia by Night
- Samhain, Feast of the Dead
- The Realm of Ice and Fire
- Celtic Otherworlds
- The Wolf in the Attic
- The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
- Fearsome Critters
- Songs of Earth and Power
- Of Wood Woses and Wild Men
- The Lost Kingdoms
- The Man in the High Castle
- India’s Eternal Cycle
- Star Wars The Force Awakens Review – No Spoilers
- Fantasy Masterworks: the founders of fantasy
- 23 Things You Missed From the Warcraft Movie Trailer
- The Dark Fantastic
- The Light Fantastic
- Spawn of Ungoliant