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Virginia Folk Legends

Thomas E. Barden

BUY Paper · 364 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813913353 · $24.95 · Oct 1991

What do devil dogs, witches, haunted houses, Daniel Boone, Railroad Bill, "Justice John" Crutchfield, and lost silver mines have in common? All are among the subjects included in the vast collection of legends gathered between 1937 and 1942 by the field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA. For decades following the end of the project, these stories lay untouched in the libraries of the University of Virginia. Now, folklorist Thomas E. Barden brings to light these delightful tales, most of which have never been in print. Virginia Folk Legends presents the first valid published collection of Virginia folk legends and is endorsed by the American Folklore Society.


This is a major regional collection of folklore which contributes not only to the scholarship of southern and Appalachian culture but also to the study of legend as a genre.. It amounts to a folk history of Virginia.

Patrick B. Mullen, Ohio State University

About the Author(s): 

Thomas E. Barden, a native Virginian, is Professor of English at Toledo University. He is the author of The Travels of Peter Woodhouse: Memoir of an American Pioneer and was joint editor with Charles L. Perdue, Jr., and Robert K. Phillips of An Annotated Lsiting of Folklore Collected by the Virginia Writers Project and Weevils in the Wheat: Interviews with Virginia Ex-Slaves (Virginia).

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