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Lesley Pratt Bannatyne

Forfatter af Halloween: A History

8 Værker 230 Medlemmer 9 Anmeldelser 1 Favorited

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Includes the name: Lesley Bannatyne

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20th Century
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Kort biografi
Bannatyne is a freelance journalist, covering stories ranging from local druids to relief aid in Bolivia. She co-founded the Studebaker Theater (1978) and is co-director of Invisible Cities Group (1990).

Bannatyne has shared her knowledge of Halloween on television specials for Nickelodeon and the History Channel ("The Haunted History of Halloween"), with Time Magazine, and has given talks at venues as diverse as the 2000 Halloween Convergence in New Orleans and the St. Louis Art Museum. She contributed the Halloween article to World Book Encyclopedia. Most recently, she set the Guinness World Record for "Largest Halloween Gathering," in October 2007 in Davis Square, Somerville. Lesley is currently works as an editor and communications writer at Harvard University.



While this indicates a 2018 reading date, I read it every year since then.

I checked this out from the library without really looking at the cover because I needed to read about something fall-related to take my mind off the heat. Halloween is in my top three fall-related things. I set this down and got a good look at the cover, and was delighted. From the first photos and introduction, I was so excited. I could practically hear Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in my head. I turned the page and laughed--zombies were dancing. Second chapter, I was thinking of different songs from the "Nightmare Before Christmas" soundtrack, to which references abound in this book in any case. This book is jam-packed with so much information about Halloween and how Americans, mostly, celebrate it. Lots of attention was paid to zombies, who I find boring, but I kept reading. This book had some of the most compassionate and sensitive portrayals of Wiccans, witches and magickal folk that I've seen in a secular book, which I deeply appreciated. I got tons of ideas for Halloween decorations, which I always enjoy. The section on Halloween-themed tattoos was so interesting, and I think it's fantastic that Halloween carolers exist. There's even a section on whether your house might be haunted. When I first moved into this apartment, I lay awake and afraid as things went bump in the night. I've lived here four years, and hardly anyone stays the night because the bumps in the night creep them out. I've gotten used to them, and I warn people, but few stay. So, I looked over the checklist and compared it to here. In all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.… (mere)
iszevthere | Jun 23, 2022 |
Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History "inaugurated contemporary Halloween popular histories and paved the way for the numerous Halloween histories published since."* (p. 158)

Unfortunately for Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History it was last on my list of reading on the origins and history of Halloween. By the time I'd come to Bannatyne's Halloween, published in 1990, I'd already read the more recent Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween and The Halloween Encyclopedia by Lisa Morton.

Both of Morton's books presented the latest findings on Halloween's history which contradicted Bannatyne's research from 20 years prior in Halloween; for example, that of Samhain as a "Lord of Death." Overlooking the historical inaccuracies, Halloween still offered a unique perspective on the evolution of the American Halloween in its presentation of personal narratives and accounts from geographical locales and/or specific time periods.

Recommended to those who want a tightly focused, historical walk-through of Halloween in America from a sociological standpoint.

3 stars

*Morton, Lisa. The Halloween Encyclopedia,2nd ed., Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 2011.
… (mere)
flying_monkeys | 5 andre anmeldelser | Nov 17, 2016 |
I'm not gonna lie, when I first picked up this book I was a little skeptical . I'd read "The Halloween Tree" by Ray Bradbury, I knew all their was to know about the history of Halloween, how could their possibly be any more to the story? Well, that's where I was wrong. Author, Lesley Pratt Bannatyne, painstaking researches the origins of traditions, feast days, and folk lore going all the way back to the Celts, Druids, and Romans. Even though the title of this book boasts the "American History," Bannatyne does her research and takes the reader all the way back to Europe to get a glimpse of the first origins. She then talks about how it was meshed with other cultures and religions (the Roman Empire, Christianity, etc.) through the centuries and how it finally was celebrated on October 31 (November 1 is All Saint's Day or Hallow's Day, so October 31 is Hallows Eve). Once it was joined with Scottish and Irish traditions, it started to more closely resemble the holiday we celebrate now: costumes to blend in with the dead, begging for food door to door, carrying turnip lanterns (pumpkins were a new favorite when they came to America), and playing pranks or tricks on one another (picked up from Guy Fawkes Day). Once the immigrants brought their traditions to the United States, things escalated and by the late nineteenth century, ladies magazines were producing articles on how to throw the best Halloween parties. When the Halloween tradition came to America, it lost a lot of the "communion with the dead" aspects. The Victorian age simply turned it into another reason to party.

Overall, it was a fascinating read. I learned soo much about one of my favorite holidays and I definitely appreciate it even more, knowing the rich history behind the traditions. A must read for any fan of Halloween or things that go bump in the night. It's filled with great poetry, pictures, and drawings to go along with the history. I do wish there had been more about the Day of the Dead and the evolution of costumes (how did they get so slutty?!), but hey, this book is 25 years old, I understand :)
… (mere)
ecataldi | 5 andre anmeldelser | Oct 23, 2014 |
'Twas the night before Halloween / and all through the cottages, / The witches were stirring their / brews and their potages. / Their cupboards were bursting with / hoptoads and newts, / And they'd shined up their point- / toed, fancy dress boots." So begins this Halloween remake of Clement C. Moore's classic Christmas poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, in which a woggle of witches prepare for Halloween night, summoning the goblins, ghosts and skeletons that help them in their work, and decorating the local town with suitably creepy flourishes. Finally, having set the stage, the witches wake their witchlings, and send them on a journey of their own...

With a text that is lots of fun to read - I just imagined the cadence of the original poem, while reading it - and illustrations that are delightfully spooky, Witches' Night Before Halloween is an entertaining holiday title that children are sure to enjoy. The author is apparently something of an expert on the holiday, as it is celebrated here in America, and has published a number of other (adult) books on the topic, from Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History to Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night. This one is recommended to young readers looking for spooky (but not too spooky!) Halloween reads!
… (mere)
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AbigailAdams26 | Apr 30, 2013 |


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