Violet Alford and the Persistence of Edwardian Thinking

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Violet Alford (1881–1972) has become one of the highest profile unsung figures of twentieth-century British folklore studies. In research and publications spanning nearly eighty years she was energetic in calling for greater recognition of folklore and more effective interventions by folklorists. She was especially concerned with the degenerative popular adaptation of traditional customs and media representation. This, along with her pioneering European fieldwork in ritual dance, would place her comfortably among those younger scholars who sought to overcome the intellectual impasse in British folklore in the 1950s associated with Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner, but Alford has slipped from view a little because her own theoretical influences were similar to those being overcome. This article seeks to restore her to view by assessing these strengths and weaknesses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-389
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021


  • folklore
  • violet alford


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