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--- Offers a fascinating cultural study of contemporary legends and their roots in traditional folk tales
--- Taps the appeal of a fascinating aspect of current folklore studiescontemporary and urban legends of third world children kidnapped for organ theft, of frogs growing inside people, of dreaded diseases being deliberately transmitted
--- Offers the latest work from a well-known British folklorist prominent in the field
The central chapters are case histories of 6 typical legends. Though they are undoubtedly "contemporary," these legends have had as much relevance in other times and places as they have for us today. For example, the Blood Libel Legend can be traced to at least the 12th century (see Chapter 6); stories about animals living inside the human body can be found in medieval medical books (Chapter 1); and the legend I call "Killing the Prodigal Son" was being told on the streets of London and Paris in 1618 (Chapter 4). Throughout their lives, these stories have been told in a variety of mediaby word of mouth, in newspapers, in novels, plays and poemsuntil the present day and are truly international.
Chapter 1 Animals Inside: Bosom Serpents and Alimentary Amphibians
Chapter 2 Poison and Honey
Chapter 3 AIDS Aggressors: Mirrors, Caskets and Needles
Chapter 4 Killing the Prodigal Son
Chapter 5 Dispossessed: The Body Snatchers
Chapter 6 Blood and Babies