Berkshire Folk Tales
My first book Berkshire Folk Tales, written with my friend and fellow storyteller Tina Bilbé and published by The History Press
It is the Summer of 1899. A group of antiquaries sets out from Reading on a tour of old Berkshire in a wagonette. At each town or village on their itinerary, they, or the locals they meet on their journey, tell their favourite Berkshire Folk Tales.
Berkshire Folk Tales is a collection of tales powerfully retold for a contemporary audience. The collection contains tales of well known figures such as Herne the Hunter and Dick Turpin, without whom ‘Berkshire Folk Tales’ would be incomplete, as well as many lesser known tales, painstakingly gleaned from Berkshire archives by Tina Bilbé and sensitively written by David England, such as:
> The touching tale of the Duke of Chandos buying himself a wife.
> A young girl’s candid account of King Gaarge killing the dragon.
> The romantic tale of a beautiful young heiress challenging the man she loves to a duel to the death.
Surrounding these variously powerful, funny, gory, heartless, moving, romantic, spiritual and prosaic tales is a delightful frame story written by Tina Bilbé. In the Summer of 1899, a group of antiquaries tours Berkshire in a wagonette, hearing and telling tales as they go.
Berkshire Folk Tales has been gloriously illustrated by Sue White.
So, Berkshire Folk Tales is a book of folk tales and much more. It is a gazetteer to guide you in making the journey yourself to discover this land and its stories.
Lancashire Folk Tales
My second book Lancashire Folk Tales, is also written with a friend, Mancunian poet and writer Jennie Bailey. It has also been published by The History Press.
These lively and entertaining folk tales from one of Britain’s most diverse counties are vividly retold by David England – writer, storyteller, psychotherapist, and shamanic guide – and Jennie Bailey – writer, poet, and storyteller.
Take a fantasy journey around Lancashire by fabulous forms of transport ancient and modern, including the Southport Pier Tramway, the Widnes-Runcorn Transporter Bridge, and the Bolton Corporation No. 54 Leyland Motors Titan open staircase double decker bus.
Travel to every corner of Lancashire, where pesky boggarts, devouring dragons, villainous knights, venomous beasts and even the Devil himself stalk the land.
> The Phantom Voice from beyond the grave, instilling mortal dread
> Sir Lancelot rising from the waters of Martin Mere to fight the terrible Sir Tarquin
> Liverpool – The Rodney Street Gambler, buried upright with a winning hand
> Oldham – Hannah Beswick, the Mummy in the Clock
> The Unsworth Dragon, ravaging the land and gorging on the folk tending their crops
> The ‘Very Beautyfull Laydys’ of Preston, the undoing of the Jacobite Rebellion
> Lancaster – The Pendle Witches, the persecution and hanging of old Mother Demdike and her crew
> Sabden – Lady Sybil and the Milk White Doe, see the picture above.
Beautifully illustrated by local artists Jo Lowes and Adelina Pintea, these tales bring alive the landscape of the county’s narrow valleys, medieval forests and treacherous sands.
“GOD BLESS LANCELOT’S SHIRE”