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The Book of Hallowe'en
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The Book of Hallowe'en

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  157 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
." intended to give the reader an account of the origin and history of Hallowe'en, [and] how it absorbed some customs belonging to other days of the year." --From Preface.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published December 26th 1918)
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This book, originally written in 1919, isn't very big but gives a lot of information about various traditions related to Halloween, most of them being still practised at the time the author wrote. Customs and folklore of Ireland and various parts of the UK are mentioned and the celtic origins of Halloween are adressed. But other influences and other related festivals are also discussed (like Roman festivals or Walpurgis Night).
The best thing about this book is that the author quotes A LOT of li
Oct 07, 2013 Vincentvanstop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Make sure and read the old publication and not the conservatively published version that literally admonishes the 1960s for ruining the view of history.They also didn't reprint the great photos.

I read the 1919 publication of this on and would have adored it as an elementary kid in the 80s. I just love the photographs of table centerpieces and illustrations, such as The Witch of the Walnut-tree.

Another suggested selection on that site is Games for Hallow-e'en by Mary F. Blain(1912), t
Oct 29, 2015 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book of Hallowe"en was originally published in 1919 by a Massachusetts Liberian Ruth Edna Kelley. These was the first attempt of gathering information on the history of Halloween. This book gives us an overview of the some of the cultural traditions from old Europe. The book gives a glimpse imto the 19th and 20th, both in Europe and in America on how Halloween was celebrated. This book opens a window to the past and helps us to understand the history a little better. This edition is missing ...more
Julia Brumfield
Definitely a most outdated book to read but one that was quite interesting when you got past the mythoi. Like many other books founded on the legends and myths of other people Ruth had some of her deities incorrect, which is annoying but I guess it is what it is.

Otherwise the book was an interesting collection of history that spans back into pagan practices that were absorbed and adapted to the Christian religion. As such many of the first chapters explored various parts of Europe and the cont
Kurt Douglass
An informative, though somewhat disorganized history of Halloween. Each chapter focuses on a specific culture or belief system that contributed to modern celebrations of the holiday. The disorganization is due to the numerous quotations that are inserted into the text. Sometimes they flow with the narrative, but often do not, and seem more appropriate as footnotes. I don't know if this is Kelly's doing or the publishers, but it made it difficult to read. Also, considering that it was written alm ...more
Ed Wagemann
Today Halloween is a Billion dollar industry.  Haunted attractions alone account for a half billion dollars annually.  But it wasn't always like that.  In 1919 American historian Ruth Edna Kelly wrote the first book length history of Halloween in America, titled The Book of Hallowe'en.  At that Halloween had not fully attained the status of a national holiday in America, eventhough many of the customs that we observe today are derived from that era.  Activities such as dressing up in costumes, b ...more
Nov 11, 2016 C.M.L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AMAZING when I was little. IDK about now.
Oct 06, 2016 Reneasy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great view into the history of the holiday. It's interesting to see what traditions have morphed and changed through years and across cultures. Note: this book mainly focuses on Europe and traditions from northern regions.
Oct 25, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: The Book of Halloween
Author: Ruth Edna Kelley
Read by: Oliver Vale
Publisher: New Paradigm Press Audio
Length: Approximately 2 hours and 31 minutes
Source: Review Copy from Narrator Oliver Vale – Thank-you!

I am a big fan of holidays. As a child, I used to love to read every book I could get my hands on to find out more about the background of all of the holidays I loved to celebrate. As an adult I enthusiastically decorate my house for the holidays with my children and still love to read abou
An absolute minefield of Halloween themed information, from ancient religious practices, to more contemporary table arrangements, Ruth Edna Kelley has dug deep - including ample references to literature and poetry which references her theme.

This was one of the first forays into documenting Halloween through history, written in 1919 - it isn't the most scholarly effort, a bit of a patchwork at times, and admittedly it isn't collated in the best possible way, sometimes the information seems scatte
James Slaven
Oct 08, 2016 James Slaven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars for what it is. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, historical and anthropological research was quite skewed. This would not stack up against anything modern. However, the tales and rituals given show a very neat and interesting window into how Halloween was celebrated 100 to 200 years ago.

If there weren't so many blatant inaccuracies in the mythologies, especially the Celtic parts, and how she uses Scotch instead of Scots, this would've been a five star book for the early 1900s. Ba-al
Greg Kerestan
Oct 05, 2016 Greg Kerestan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though maybe some of the sociological implications cited here are obsolete, Ruth Edna Kelley's book (equally entertaining and "educational") is a fascinating examination of the panoply of world influences and harvest/death holidays which combined over time into the American, and eventually international, celebration of Halloween. Extensive quoting of vintage pre-20th century Halloween literature adds to the evocative nature.
Timothy Ferguson
Aug 16, 2012 Timothy Ferguson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librivox
An interesting collection of folklore

The Librivox version is well read. Wide geographical focus. Does tend to go very American (state by state) at one point, but that's inevitable, and for American listeners, even desirable, I imagine.

James Slaven
Sep 29, 2015 James Slaven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book, if you consider the era it was written in. Take the older stuff with a fun grain of salt. Still a good and fun and interesting read.
Sep 04, 2015 Glenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite an interesting history of the customs of the holiday. Written in 1919, by a historian. Very thorough and enlightening.
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