English mythology

English mythology, like the conglomerate society which it represents, with a long and elaborate history of invasion and settlement by diverse cultures, is one which has nevertheless an entirely idiosyncratic nature of its own.

Laying aside the considerations of contemporary myths such as that of Deep England, there are a number of distinctive mythical folk heroes and legends, many of which have their roots steeped in the vestiges of historical fact: King Arthur, Hereward the Wake, Robin Hood, the lost land of Lyonesse.

There is a great deal of regional variation, and this reflects the historical sense of geographical separation which pre-existed today's transport systems. In Cornwall, for example, there are a number of faery species including the piskeys, and the spirits of the mine-shafts, the knockers, and these are known nowhere else in England. On Dartmoor, a traveller thought to have gone astray on the moor was said to have been pixy-led.

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