Katharine Briggs: Story-teller

Katharine Briggs made an indelible mark on the world of folklore with her compilation of the Dictionary of British Folktales in the English Languages. Her subsequent Dictionary of Fairies confirmed her already distinguished place among British Folklorists. It was at Oxford University that she developed her interest in seventeenth century literature and the Civil War. Between leaving Oxford and the outbreak of the Second World War she channelled amateur dramatics and work for the Guide Movement. During the War she served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and it was here, perhaps, that her personality fully matured. Among other activities she delighted here fellows with her remarkable gift for story-telling. Her career as a folklorist began to blossom in Oxford after the war. As if to make up for lost time, she spent the last twenty years of her life writing and lecturing almost continually. She is known not only for her books on folklore, but also her children's books Kate Crackernuts and Hobberdy Dick. She was responsible for revitalising the Folklore Society and as its President, she laid the foundations of the Society as it is today. Hilda Davidson's biography brings to life a remarkable woman who made friends all over the world.