The Nail in the Skull and Other Victorian Urban Legends (June 2022), by Simon Young, introduces seventy Victorian urban legends ranging from “Beetle Eyes” to the “Shoplifter’s Dilemma” and from “Hands in the Muff” to the “Suicide Club.”
While folklorists have amassed an extraordinary corpus of contemporary legends over the past fifty years, the urban legends of the past have rarely been collected, and when they occasionally appear, they do so as ancestors or precursors of the urban legends of today, rather than as stories in their own right. A handful of the stories in this collection are already known, but the vast majority have never been identified, and they have certainly never received scholarly treatment before now.
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