The Ingoldsby Legends (full title: The Ingoldsby Legends, or Mirth and Marvels) is a collection of myths, legends, ghost stories and poetry written supposedly by Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor, actually a pen-name of an English clergyman named Richard Harris Barham.
|Cover artist||Arthur Rackham|
|Genre||Humorous verse & prose short stories|
|Publisher||J. M. Dent (R. Bentley & Son)|
|1840, 1842, 1847, 1879 (and 1885)|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
The legends were first printed during 1837 as a regular series in the magazine Bentley's Miscellany and later in New Monthly Magazine. They proved immensely popular and were compiled into books published in 1840, 1842 and 1847 by Richard Bentley. They remained popular during the 19th century, when they ran through many editions. They were illustrated by artists including John Leech, George Cruikshank, John Tenniel, and Arthur Rackham (1898 edition).
As a priest of the Chapel Royal, with a private income, Barham was not troubled with strenuous duties and he had ample time to read and compose stories. Although based on real legends and mythology, chiefly Kentish, such as the "hand of glory", they are mostly deliberately humorous parodies or pastiches of medieval folklore and poetry.
The best-known poem of the collection is "The Jackdaw of Rheims", about a jackdaw who steals a cardinal's ring, and is made a saint, canonised in the name of Jem Crow. The village pub of Denton was renamed "The Jackdaw Inn" in 1963, after the story. The collection also contains one of the earliest transcriptions of the song "A Franklyn's Dogge", an early version of the modern children's song "Bingo". Barham introduced the collection with the grandiose statement that "The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Romney Marsh".
The chapters include:
they canoniz'd him by the name of Jem Crow!, text online with "Jim Crow".