Download e-book for kindle: Alas Poor Ghost by Gillian Bennett

By Gillian Bennett

ISBN-10: 058517525X

ISBN-13: 9780585175256

ISBN-10: 0874212774

ISBN-13: 9780874212778

"Bennett interviewed girls in Manchester, England, asking them approximately ghosts and different supernatural stories and ideology. (Her dialogue of the way her examine tools and interview recommendations developed is in itself valuable.) She first released the result of the learn within the well-received Traditions of trust: ladies and the Supernatural, which has been used across the world in folklore, women's experiences, and different classes. "Alas, terrible Ghost!" completely revises and expands that paintings. as well as a fuller presentation and research of the unique box learn, the writer has up-to-date the textual content to include newer stories and assisted through Kate Bennett, a gerontological psychologist, analyzed new study with a gaggle of ladies in Leicester, England. This final addition makes a speciality of the function of bereavement and witnessing in touch with the dead."--BOOK JACKET.

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Page 18 I have discussed the women's beliefs about premonitions and fortune-telling in my chapter in Barbara Walker's Out of the Ordinary (Bennett 1995) and intend to focus in this book solely on beliefs relating to contact with the dead, but something has to be said here about this curious turnabout. Discussing afterlife beliefs, Davies writes: Beliefs can be held, and probably usually are held, in clusterform rather than in a systematic scheme . . various beliefs which may have no immediate logical or theological connection with each other are brought together to give the individual a working basis for life.

However, I believe there is a logic to this apparently contradictory position. By listening to all the conversation recorded on the interview tapes, it is possible to pick up a very good general picture of the mental furniture the women carry round with them, and this is most instructive when trying to understand the whys and wherefores of belief. Judging from this background information, it seems that philosophical considerations and social factors are influential in determining whether women accept supernatural traditions (see below), but it is moral factors that are most significant in distinguishing between which traditions they accept and which they do not.

His Cock Lane and Common-Sense (1894) is probably the best book on the subject written in the English language. It is in part a historical review of the history of ghost traditions, and in part an energetic argument that the evidence for ghosts is as good as the evidence for anything else. In succeeding generations of folklorists there have unfortunately been few to follow Lang's robust line. In Britain I can think of none. In America the record is rather better: the last forty years have produced a handful of scholars who have recognized the interest and value of studies of folk belief and have written about the supernatural without sneers or whimsicality.

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Alas Poor Ghost by Gillian Bennett


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