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The Wild Hunt in the Modern British Imagination

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-191
Number of pages17
Issue number2
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Jan 2018
DatePublished (current) - 11 Jun 2019


The expression ‘Wild Hunt’ has acted as shorthand in Western culture for nocturnal cavalcades of spirits, usually with a recognized leader, ever since it was coined by the German scholar Jacob Grimm in the early nineteenth century. For a short period in the late twentieth century it was a major motif in British fiction, and especially in novels designed for children and young adults. This article is intended to explore the links between the two phenomena, the status of the concept in wider culture and of its use in fantasy literature, and in the process to further an understanding of the relationship between folklore, scholarship, and creative writing in Britain during the past two hundred years.



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