Hand and Word

Featuring Storyteller
P. D. Brown.

Welcome! I am a storyteller, a part of the revival of this traditional art

All peoples have produced their tellers of tales but sadly, in western culture, oral storytelling was eclipsed by the advent of cinema, radio and television.
Even books and widening literacy contributed to its decline.

There are many kinds of oral story; wonder tales, folk tales, ghost and horror stories, jokes, fables and epics. I can tell these different types of tales from many lands.

My favourites however, are the myths, legends and sagas of the peoples who settled the British Isles in the distant past. Their storytellers wrought new tales of great loves and heroic deeds, and continued to tell the old tales, brought with them across the sea, stored in the memories of the Celtic bards, Anglo Saxon scopas and Viking skalds.
These are the tales I especially love to rework for today's audiences, young and old, while keeping true to the style and spirit of how they were told, around flickering hearths, on winter nights, long ago.

THE HIDDEN DOOR, a book by P.D. Brown: The Magic of Midwinter is just that: Magic! A time of wonder and of mystery, it is also a 'spooky time' when people love to hear uncanny stories. The reasons for this are not hard to find: now, but even more so before electricity, the darkness stimulates our imaginations. In bygone times, no stories were told in summer as there was too much work to do but once winter came and the short days ended work in the fields, the story-telling season began when the old tales would be told again - and here they are, six tales that would have enthralled our ancestors on long winter nights and now can do so for us! Much is made of the Celtic festival of Halloween, the first day of the New Year when the dead would return to the land of the living. But in the ancient cultures of Scandinavia, the Low Countries, England and Germany, the New Year was at the winter solstice when, from the old year's longest night, the light of the new year would steadily grow day by day. This was also a time when the dead would return (often as The Wild Hunt) and this idea is still with us today in the form of Christmas ghost stories. Three of the six stories in this book either take place or have significant episodes occurring during Yule; four of the tales feature ghosts. Each story is illustrated by the author. The second half of the book has illuminating notes explaining the beliefs, customs and folklore of the 'holiest of tides'. Google 'The Hidden Door P.D. Brown' for purchase options.

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