Annotated Book List

 annotateD list of books & booklets etc.

Books which have been written specifically about Mumming are:

  •      [D] = Digitised in the Collection.
         [d] = Relevant extracts digitised in the Collection.

Brody, Alan. The English Mummers and Their Plays: Traces of Ancient Mystery.[D] {University of Pennsylvania Publications in Folklore & Folklife, no.2.} University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. (1970) / Routledge & Kegan Paul. [1971] [ISBN 0-7100-7067-5] 215? / 185pp.
The first full-length work of scholarship since Chambers, q.v., although there is a suspicion that many of the ideas were cribbed from Alex Helm from which thinking has moved on. Increases in the number of known plays caused shifts in what is considered significant. Recommended as the newcomer’s second book. 3 texts: Netley Abbey, Hants. (H/C); Greatham, Co Durham (Sw); Bassingham, Lincs. (W).

Buckley, Anthony D. & Críostóóir MacCárthaigh & Séamas Ó Catháin & Séamus MacMathúna (eds) Border-Crossing: Mumming in Cross-Border and Cross-Community Contexts. Proceedings of a Conference held at the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages, University of Ulster, Derry, 9-13 June 2003. Dundalgan Press. (2007) A5. 347pp.
15 scholarly papers read at the Conference, 3 of which are about traditions in Scandinavia. All serious stuff.

Cass, Eddie F. The Lancashire Pace-Egg Play: A Social History. [D] 
FLS Books. (2001) [ISBN 0-903515-22-9] B5-ish. 265pp.
The only book dedicated to this aspect of the Play. Excellent. Gazetteer of occurrences of the Play. Two case studies examine the revival of Middleton & Bury.
 8 texts: Bury; Dendron; Hawkshead; Middleton; Radcliffe; ?; chapbook (Wrigley + Looney & Pilling). 
See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cass, Eddie F. & Peter T. Millington. (eds) Folk Drama Studies Today. Papers given at the International Traditional Drama Conference 19-21 July, 2002, University of Sheffield, England.[d] 
Traditional Drama Research Group. (2003) [ISBN 0-9508152-3-3] A4. 264pp. See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cass, Eddie F. & Stephen Roud / Malcolm Taylor & Doc Rowe (eds) Room, Room, Ladies and Gentlemen: An Introduction to the English Mummers’ Play.[D] EFDSS in association with the Folklore Society. (2002) [ISBN 0-854181-85-7] A5. 119pp.
A general and descriptive book written with regard to the needs of teachers. A serious and effective attempt to fill a gap in currently available books. Considered pricey.
 9 texts: Middle Rasen, Lincs. (W); Chiddingfold, Surrey (H/C); Coxwold, N Yorks.; Sowerby, W Yorks.; Sedgefield, Co Durham (H/C); Bury, Lancs. (H/C); Tarvin, Ches. (Soul); Kempsford, Glos. (R.H.); chapbook (Wrigley).
 See book reviews in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cawte, E.C., Alex Helm & Norman Peacock. English Ritual Drama: A Geographic Index. [D] 
Folklore Society. (1967) A5. 132pp.
A most important book which, though ageing, is still the first place to seek information about plays from a specific area. The significance of the Index makes it easy to overlook this book’s several discussive chapters, sample texts and most extensive list of references. Sadly the value as a tool is limited by quoting only the earliest (often obscure) source although the material may be reprinted more accessibly. Amendments and additions were published in the magazine Roomer, q.v., numbers 1:5; 2:2 & 5:2.
Now on line.
5 texts: Jerusalem, Lincs. (W); Gainford, Co Durham (Sw); Gainford, Co Durham (H/C); Romsey, Hants. (H/C); High Spen, Co Durham (H/C).

Chambers, Sir Edmund Kerchever. The English Folk Play. [D] 
Clarendon Press, Oxford. (1933 / 1969) 248pp.
Deep but dated thinking, with five texts. Weak on Wooing Plays. Important, as it dissects the plays, creating the terminology to define the different characters and the various parts of the action. Recommended as the first book for a newcomer to Mumming.
Chambers discussed folk plays in his two-volume work The Mediaeval Stage, Clarendon Press, Oxford. (1903).. The later book repudiates this, but his earlier work seems more in accord with modern ideas.
 5 texts: Ampleforth, N Yorks. (Sw); Bassingham, Lincs. (W-collated); Mylor, Cornwall (H/C); Revesby, Lincs. (Sw); Weston Sub Edge, Glos. (H/C); + ‘normalised’ text.

Gailey, Alan. Irish Folk Drama. [D] 
Mercier Press, Cork. (1969) A5. 104pp.
Comprehensive; cites associated dramatic customs.
5 texts: Kilisher, Co Fermanagh; Killmore, Co Wexford; Knockloughrim, Co Derry; Malahide, Co Dublin; unlocated, Co Antrim.

Harrop, Peter K, Mummers’ Plays revisited (D). Routledge / Taylor and Francis. 218pp. h/b 2019;  pbk. March 2021’.
As the first serious book on mumming for years, this is overdue. The Author’s background is impressive. He had some early experience of Mummers, his 616-page PhD thesis was an in-depth study of five traditional teams, and his later years were spent as a Professor at the University of Chester where he taught Performance Studies. He therefore combines a wide knowledge of Mumming with that of mainstream theatre/drama and this book deals with the subject in-depth from an angle not previously covered.
The scale of the reading in preparation for this book is mindboggling and has resulted in lengthy and informative quotes from a plethora of early writers.
He wisely avoids the thorny issue of origins, but we get an analysis of the wider context – the performers and their backgrounds, the very detailed contexts in which the plays appeared through the 17th and 18th Centuries and the varying audiences and performance venues.
Harrop offers a reappraisal of mummers’ plays, which have long been regarded as a form of ‘folk’ or ‘traditional’ drama, somehow separate from the mainstream of British theatre. This fresh view of folk and tradition explores how mummers’ plays emerged in an 18th century theatrical environment of popular ‘spouting clubs’ and private theatricals, yet quickly transformed into ‘traditionary’ drama with echoes of an ancient past. Harrop suggests that by the late 19th century the plays had been appropriated by antiquarians and folklorists, leaving mummer’s plays as a strangely separate and categorised form. This book considers how that happened, and the ways in which these late 19th century ideas were absorbed into the mummers’ plays, providing a new lease of life for them in the 20th and 21st centuries. Ideal for anyone with a specialised interest in this unique form, Mummers’ Plays Revisited spans recent work in theatre history, performance studies and folklore to offer a comprehensive and engaging study.
In conclusion, the book is well produces though somewhat heavily priced
My only criticism is that the print is a bit small for my ageing eyes and I would have preferred footnotes to end-notes.

Harrop, Peter K. (ed) Aspects of Performance. Papers read at the Symposium at the 1st International Mummers’ Unconvention, 2011, Bath, England. [d] PLUS
  From the Horse’s Mouth – Mummers talk about Mumming. Papers read at the Symposium at the 2nd International Mummers’ Unconvention, 2012, Bath, England. [d]
The Symposia at the Unconventions were the first outlet for a number of years for scholars and others to present serious Papers.

Hayward, Brian. Galoshins: The Scottish Folk Play. [D] 
Edinburgh University Press. (1992) [ISBN 07486-0338-7]  311pp.
A Socio-Cultural History; II, Commentary on the Performance. Texts. (Includes all known Scottish textual references except any recently acquired by the School of Scottish Studies). There have been suggestions that some of the references are not totally accurate, but this does not invalidate the importance of the book.
 45 texts.

Helm, Alex. The English Mummers’ Play. [D] 
{Mistletoe Series, no.14.} D.S. Brewer, Woodbridge. (1981) [ISBN 0-85991-067-9] A4. 121? 124pp.
The ideas seems a bit archaic, but must be viewed as the last (posthumous) work of an indefatigable collector, prolific writer and lecturer.
 18 texts.

Lyle, Emily B. (ed) Galoshins Remembered. [D] 
NMS Enterprises, Edinburgh. (2011) [ISBN 9781905267569] A5. 189pp.
This is a must for anyone interested in the folk-play in Scotland. After the 25pp. Introduction’, it consists of transcribed verbatim interviews by the editor with people who have had personal experience of the play. 
There are 14 ‘Recollections’ from 13 locations: Melrose (x2); Morebattle; Hawick; Westruther; Biggar; Muirkirk; Kirkcowan; Newton Stewart; Armadale; Falkirk; Camelon; Dennyloanhead; Kippen. They contain remembered text, which is mostly interspersed with descriptions and comments.

Miller, Stephen. Who Wants to See the White Boys Act? The Mumming Play in the Isle of Man. – A Compendium of Sources.
 [D] Chiollagh Books, Mannin. (2010) A5. 225pp. 
 The title says it all.

Parle, James. The Mummers of Wexford. 
JJP Publications, Drinagh. (2001) [ISBN 0-9540927-0-8] B5-ish. 527pp.
An amazing and surprisingly enthralling book which, mostly from newspapers and personal interviews, traces the detailed history of every mumming team in Wexford between 1907 and 1999. Many, many photos. Could be of interest to sociologists etc. 
3 texts: Donabate; Enniscorthy; Wexford. 
See my book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Tiddy, Reginald John Elliott. The Mummers’ Play. [D] 
Clarendon Press, Oxford / Paul P.B. Minet, Chicheley. (1923 / 1972) [/ ISBN 85609-014-X] 257pp.
Texts and five discussive chapters based on lectures. The first specialised book, but posthumous so completeness of the ideas is uncertain.
 31 texts.

Tween, Gerald. “Step In”. Traditional Mummers Plays from Gloucestershire. [D] 
Vale Publishing. (2012) A4. 119pp.
A two-page introduction with 26 texts.

Also important are:

Corrsin, Stephen D. (? edition) Sword Dancing in Europe: A History. 
Hisarlik Press. (1997) [ISBN 1-874312-25-7] 9 1/2″x6″. 290pp.
Covers all forms of sword-dancing. Britain gets relatively light treatment.

Glassie, Henry H. All Silver and No Brass. 
Indiana University Press, Bloomington. (1975) [ISBN 0-253-30470-9] B5-ish. 192? 221pp.
The author visited over several years, studying a rural district on the Ulster border. He looked not at the plays but at the players and how they and their community benefited from the performances. This is a more sociological approach, but is still valid and interesting.

Halpert, Herbert & George M. Story. (eds) Christmas Mumming in Newfoundland. Essays in Anthropology, Folklore and History. [D] 
University of Toronto Press. (1969 / 1990) [ISBN 0-8020-3200-1 / ISBN 0-8020-6767-0] 258pp.
Early patterns of English traditions have sometimes been preserved in former colonial areas (cf ‘Appalachian’ ballads) and although “Mumming” here mostly means Christmas visiting in disguise, this excellent book gives insight into Mummers’ feelings and beliefs n an earlier age.
 3 texts: St.John’s; Change Islands; Salvage.

Tillis, Steve. Rethinking Folk Drama.
 {Contributions in Drama and Theatre Studies, no.83.} Greenwood. (1999) [ISSN 0163-3821 / ISBN 0-313-30753-9] B5. 252pp.
Summarises and points to deficiencies in the definitions made by each of many earlier writers, before proposing his own.

Other Authoritative Works are:

Allsop, Ivor / Anthony G. Barrand. (ed) Longsword Dances from Traditional and Manuscript Sources. 
Northern Harmony Publishing Ltd. (1996) [ISBN 0-96277554-7-8] A4-landscape. 368pp.
Dances mostly. Text of Revesby.

Cawte, E.C. Ritual Animal Disguise. [d] 
{Mistletoe Series, no.?.} D.S. Brewer, Cambridge. (1978) [ISBN 0-85991-028-8] 303pp.
With a ‘Geographic Index’. A definitive work which includes the Ram and the Horse in plays.

Frampton, George E. Discordant Comicals: The Christmas Hoodeners of East Kent, Tradition and Revival. 
{Faversham Papers, no.99.} The Faversham Society. (2006) [ISBN 1-900214-51-2] A4. 147pp.
Reprinted 2018 by Ozaru Books in hardback and enlarged to 235pp.
Revisits Percy Maylam’s authoritative work and brings it up to date. (The binding – flimsy card and two staples – does not do it justice.)  An informative review at

Maylam, Percy. The Hooden Horse, An East Kent Christmas Custom. 
Author, Canterbury. (1909)  Qto. xv + 124pp.
The standard (and only) work on this custom. Only 303 copies ever produced.

Sharp, Cecil J. Sword Dances of Northern England. 
Novello. 3 vols, (1911-1913) / EP Publishing. 1 vol, (1977) [ISBN 0-7158-1211-4] ?. / A6. 112 + 43 + 115pp. / 270pp.
Has dance notations, also play fragments, calling-on songs and text of Ampleforth.

Mention should be made, I suppose of:

Alford, Violet. The Hobby Horse and Other Animal Masks. 
Merlin. (1978) 211pp.

 Alford, Violet. Sword Dance and Drama. 
Merlin. (1962) 222pp.
Postulates that the dance is associated only with mining sites.

Welch, Charles Edgar, junior. Oh Dem Golden Slippers: The Colourful Story of the Philadelphia Mummers’ Parade. 
Thomas Nelson, New York. (1970) / Book Street Press, Philadelphia. 2nd rev. edn. (1991)  192pp. / ?pp.
The Mummers’ Parade or ‘PMP’. Has become a huge Mardi-Gras-type carnival, but one of its several roots may have been in English-style mumming. This is the authoritative book and is based on Welch’s PhD.

Booklets on the Subject.

Sizes A5-ish unless shown otherwise. Not listed are some of the short, privately produced items which would now be very hard to find.
    All digitised except those marked [U]

Bartlett, John Oke. “In Comes I…” (Volume 1) A Collection of Contemporary Mummers Plays.
Plays and Musicals, Horsham. (2005) [ISBN 1 904458 83 1]  52pp.
6 composed texts. The price includes the royalties payable for performance.

Boyes, Georgina, Michael J.Preston & Paul Smith. Chapbooks and Traditional Drama, Part 2: Christmas Rhyme Books.
{NATCECT Bibliographical and Special Series, no.2.} University of Sheffield. (1999) [ISSN 1466 7347] A4. 46pp.
Irish and Ulster plays. Authorititive.
 4 texts: chapbook.

Brown, David & Tina. In Comes I: An English Mummers’ Play. 
Cotswold Music Ltd., Tewkesbury. (1988) [ISBN 1-870635-02-7] A4. 18pp.
Aimed at Junior schools. Two pages of background, a topically-modified, collated text and how to make easy “to part” costumes. Score and band parts (Recorders etc.) for “The Mummers’ March”.

Cass, Eddie F. The Pace-Egg Plays of the Calder Valley. 
FLS Books. (2004) [ISBN 0-9035152-3-7] 70pp.
2 texts: Midgley; Heptonstall. 
See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cass, Eddie F., Michael J.Preston & Paul Smith. The English Mumming Play: An Introductory Bibliography. 
FLS Books. {Bibliographies no.2.} (2000) [ISBN 0-903515210] 40pp.
See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cawte, E.C. In Comes I: An Introductory Leaflet to the Mummers’ Play. 
{Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Leaflet, no.?.} EFDSS. (1972) [ISBN ?] Foolscap folded. 20pp.
List of refs available at the VWML.
 1 text: Caldicott, Rutland (H/C).

Corrsin, Stephen D. Sword Dancing in Britain: An Annotated Bibliography
. {Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Leaflet, no.21.} EFDSS. (1993 / 19??) [ISBN 0-85418-163-6] 34pp.
List of references available at the VWML.

Covey, Winton. Sandy and Holly: A Mummers’ Play for Christmas. 
Author. (1992 / 1995) A4-ish. 23pp.
Composed text.

Doel, Geoff & Fran. Mumming, Howling and Hoodening: Midwinter Rituals in Sussex, Kent and Surrey. 
Meresborough Books, Rainham. (1992) [ISBN 0948193-743] 64pp.
3 texts: Compton, Sussex; Dover, Kent; Hindhead, Surrey.

Drake, Jon. The Fool and the Hobby-Horse: Their Role In Ritual Drama of Britain. 
Southend Press, Garsington. [no date] 54pp.
Propounds a pagan Celtic origin.

Evans, Jack. The Daft Days. Traditional Guisers’ Plays from Lowland Scotland. 
Palindrome Publications. (1989) 55pp.
10 texts: Peebles; Galloway district; Kirkcudbrightshire + Wigtownshire; Westruther + Spottiswoode, Berwickshire.; Stirling; unloc, Angus; Bowden + Hawick + Morebattle + Melrose, Roxburghshire.

Gailey, Alan. Christmas Rhymers and Mummers in Ireland
. Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1968) 44pp.
Fine appraisal, much information, two plates. 
5 texts: Swords, Co Dublin; Forkhill, Co Armagh; Ballycarry, Co Antrim; Spamount, Co Tyrone; Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

Gittins, Martin. “We Beg Your Leave…” an Account of the Middleton Pace-Egg Play and Other Customs of Eastertide. 
Author. (1984) 48pp.
Composed text.
Harwood, Henry W. & F.H. Marsden. The Pace Egg. The Midgley Version. 
Authors. (1935) / David Bland, Halifax. (1977) 24pp.
History and composed text.

Hawkins, Paul. The Titchfield Mummers. Spicing Up History.
 Titchfield Mummers. (1998) 48pp.
History and 5 composed texts.

Helm, Alex. Cheshire Folk Drama. 
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1968) 58pp.
Notes, discussion, list of plays, two plates.
 5 texts: Antrobus; Huxley; Utkinton; Warburton; Alderley Edge.

Helm, Alex. The Chapbook Mummers’ Plays. 
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1969) 54pp.
Detailed consideration, analysis, lists of plays.

Helm, Alex. Eight Mummers’ Plays. 
Ginn and Company. (1971) [ISBN 0-602-21770-9] 72pp.
Lucid introductions and notes. Eight colour plates of costumes.
 8 texts: Alderley, Ches. (Souling); Greens Norton, Northhants. (H/C); Chadlington, Oxon. (H/C); West Woodhay, Berks. (H/C); Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland (H/C); Hawick, Roxburghs. (H/C); Baronscourt, Co Tyrone (H/C); chapbook (Four Champions).

Helm, Alex. The English Folk Play. 
Manchester District EFDSS. (1954) 41 + ?pp.
Vol.1 has two parts- ‘A General Survey’ and ‘List of Sources’. Vol.2 is 
8 texts: Branston, Lincs. (W); Syresham, N’hants.; Burntwood, Staffs.; Thame, Oxon.; Castle Cary, Somerset; Broadway, Worcs); Iping, W Sussex; Hibaldstow, Lincs. (W).

Helm, Alex. Five Mumming Plays for Schools. 
EFDSS / Folklore Society. (1965) 45pp.
Brief notes and four plates of costumes.
 5 texts: Chithurst, W Sussex. (H/C); Lancaster. (H/C); Netley Abbey, Hants. (H/C); Plumtree, Notts. (W); Rudheath, Ches. (Soul).

Helm, Alex. Staffordshire Folk Drama. 
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1984) [ISBN 0-902065-08-4] 72pp.
15 texts: Armitage; Biddulph Moor; Brereton; Cheadle; Dales Green; Great Wyrley; Meir; Norton Canes; Penkridge; Upper Tean; Uttoxeter; Walsall Wood.

Helm, Alex & E.C. Cawte. Six Mummers’ Acts. 
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1967) 48pp.
Notes, two plates, some sketches of costume.
 6 texts: Brimington, Derbys.; Sulgrave, N’hants.; Holy Island, N’humberland.; Burntwood, Staffs.; Belcoo, Co Fermanagh; Brattleby, Lincs. (W); Ab Kettleby, Leics. (W).

Jones, Kelvin I. (ed) Cornish Mumming. 
Oakmagic Publications, West Rudham. (2010) [ISBN 978-1940330-061] 29pp.
5 texts: composed; unlocated; Redruth; St Keverne; Padstow.

Lawrence, David. The Mummers’ Play: As Performed in North Curry, Somersetshire. 
Author. (2007) viii + 26pp with accompanying DVD.

Leach, Robert. Vol.1: The World of the Folk Play / Vol.2: Folk Playtexts. 
Harrap. (1978) [ISBN 0-245-53207-2/3] Qto. 32 + 30pp.
Aimed at schools. Fair, but weak on Sword Plays as it ignores the need for a competent dance team. Less than practical on animal figures
. 7 texts: unlocated, Staffs. (H/C); Weston-sub-Edge, Glos. (H/C); Comberbach, Ches. (Soul); Sheffield, W Yorks. (Tup); Gainford, Co Durham (Sw); Bassingham, Lincs. (W); Robin Hood and Friar Tuck (medieval).

Marshall, Chas & Stuart Rankin. The Return of the Blue Stots: An Aspect of Traditional Drama in Yorkshire. 
Dockside Studios. (2003)  A4. 55pp.
5 texts: unlocated; Haxby; Helperby; Skelton on Ure; Topcliffe.
 See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Millington, Peter T. An Interim List of Nottinghamshire Folk Plays and Related Customs. 
Author, Long Eaton / Traditional Drama Research Group. (1980 / 1984) [/ ISBN 0-9508152-1-7] 42pp.

Pearce, Brian. We Are Six Dancers Bold… A History of the Greatham Sword Dance. 
Author {on behalf of Redcar Sword Dancers}, Ormesby. (2001) 20pp.

Pennick, Nigel. The Derby Ram: An English Traditional Song & Mummers’ Play. 
The Library of The European Tradition. (1999) 8pp.

Pettitt, Thomas. Ritual and Vaudeville: The Dramaturgy of the English Folk Plays. 
Pre-publications of the English Institute of Odense University, no.19. (Oct 1981) 15pp.
Reprinted in Traditional Drama Studies, q.v., 2. (1988) pp.45-68.

Pettitt, Thomas. New World Traditions in the Study of Early English Custom and Customary Drama. 
Odense American Studies, International Series, Working Paper no.23. (Aug 1996) [ISSN 0908 2271] 19pp.
Reprinted in Carnival & the Carnivalesque: The Fool, The Reformer, The Wildman and Others in Early Modern Theatre (1999) pp.263-281.

Preston, Michael J., M.Georgina Smith & Paul S. Smith. An Interim Checklist of Chapbooks Containing Traditional Play Texts. 
History of the Book Trade in the North, Newcastle. (1976) A4. 52pp.
Essential tool for the study of the chapbooks but classification rendered obsolete by Smiths later and ongoing work, (unpublished)

Preston, Michael J., M.Georgina Smith & Paul S. Smith. Chapbooks and Traditional Drama, Part 1: Alexander and the King of Egypt Chapbooks.
 {CECTAL Bibliographical and Special Series, no.2.} University of Sheffield. (1977) [ISSN 0309 9229] A4. 38pp.
 3 texts: chapbook.

Preston, Michael J., M.Georgina Smith & Paul S. Smith. Morrice Dancers at Revesby: reproduced from the manuscript in the British Library. 
{CECTAL Facsimiles, no.1.} University of Sheffield. (1976) A4. 36pp.

Preston, Michael J. & Paul S. Smith. “A petygree of the Plouboys oR modes dancers songs”. The Morris Dance at Revesby: A Facsimile of the 1779 Manuscript in the Lincolnshire Archives
. {NATCECT Facsimiles, no.2.} University of Sheffield. (1999) [ISSN 1466 6928] A4. 43? 53pp.
With introduction and commentary.

Roud, Stephen. Mumming Plays in Oxfordshire: An Interim Checklist. 
Traditional Drama Research Group. (1984) 40pp.
Comprehensive list. Map.
 2 texts: Deddington; Chadlington.

Roud, Stephen & Malcolm Bee. Berkshire Mumming Plays: A Geographical Index and Guide to Sources. 
Folklore Society Library Publications, no.7. (1991) [ISBN 1-871903-25-4] 75pp.
Gives the text of many of the references. Map.
 3 texts: Chosley; Cumnor; Thatcham.

Roud, Stephen & Paul Marsh. Mumming Plays in Hampshire. 
Authors. 7th edn. (1980) A4. 36pp.
Geographic listing. Map.

Seymour, Alan J. Pace Egging in Bury and Beyond. 
Author on behalf of Bury Pace Eggers, Bury. (1994) [ISBN 0-9523336-0-0] 25pp.
Account of the formation and activities of the team.

Shuttleworth, Ron Kenneth. Introducing the Folk Plays of England
. Author, Coventry. (1984 / 2011) [ISBN 0-9510140-0-5] 18pp. / 16pp.
Very basic but complete answers to the question “What’s it all about?”.

Shuttleworth, Ron Kenneth. So You Want to Start Mumming- Options Pitfalls and Suggestions
. Author, Coventry. (1984 / 1994) [ISBN 0-9510140-1-3] 20pp. / 26pp.
The decisions to be made and the order in which to make them.
Cannot be praised too highly and should be bought by all. Packed with information, dispensed with wit and style, it would be excellent value at twice the price. By the compiler of this booklist.

Smith, Paul & Georgina. Christmas Greetings. 
SLF / CECTAL. (1972 / 1976) 22pp. / 22pp.

Smith, G., P.S. Smith & J.D.A. Widdowson. Traditional Drama. 
{SLF Research Guide, no.1.} / {CECTAL Research Guide, no.1} University of Sheffield. (1972 / 1977) 8pp. / 8pp.

Smith, Paul S. & John D.A. Widdowson. (eds)  Traditional Drama Studies. CECTAL and Traditional Drama Research Group. (1985-1996) [ISSN 0268-5752]
Academic but important. A cumulative list of contents is available online at

1. 1985. [/ ISBN 0-907426-01-8] 67pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conference 1978.

2. 1988. [/ ISBN 0-907426-02-6] 68pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conferences 1978/1979/1981.

3. 1994. [/ ISBN ?] 60pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conferences 1979/1982/1985.

4. 1996. [/ ISBN ?] 75pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conferences 1978/1979.

Spratley, Philip. 
Mid East Mumming: A Selection of Folk Plays from the East Midlands.
/ East Midlands Mumming: A Selection of Folk Plays from the East Midlands. 
EFDSS / Kesteven Edition, Deeping St James in association with the EFDSS. (1977 / 2011) [/ ISBN 9780854182152] 28pp. / 32pp.
3 texts: Claypole, Lincs. (W); Staunton, Lincs. (W); Cropwell Bishop, Notts. (W) plus the “Poor Old ‘Oss”. / A new ‘Introduction’ and an extra text: unlocated, Leics. (?).

Ulster-American Folk Park. Mummers’ Plays: A Resource Booklet for Schools. Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh. [no date] A4. 26pp.
What it says.

Ulster-American Folk Park. Mummers: A Resource Booklet for Teachers. Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh. [no date] A4. 21pp.
What it says.


Rattle up my Boys: A Quarterly Publication For those With An Interest In Sword Dancing. Editor. (1987-) A4. 
Current editor – Jeff Lawson, 1 Milton View
Wood Bank Terrace Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, OL5 0SX. 07835 632 134.
Contains a wealth of detail about Papa Stour and  other traditions with Play associations. 
All issues now digitised, and contents noted in a spreadsheet (ongoing)

Roomer: The Newsletter of the Traditional Drama Research Group. 
Traditional Drama Research Group. (1980-1991) A4.
Important material, much of it contributed by academics. A cumulative list of contents, author, place and subject indexes are also available online at
Since October 2000, Roomer has been superseded by —

Traditional Drama Forum: The Online Newsletter of the Traditional Drama Research Group. 
Traditional Drama Research Group. (2000-) [ISSN 1743-3789]

Many of the above have lists of references and further reading.

Most books can be obtained through the inter-library loan service. This usually works on several levels. Requesting a book may produce the reply that it is “not available”, but this often means locally. Persistence will generate increasingly wide enquiries which will usually be successful in the end.
Some University libraries allow public access and house books on folklore

Much of this material can be found at one or more of the following.-

National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT) [formerly the Centre for English Cultural Tradition and Language (CECTAL); itself formed from the Survey of Language and Folklore (SLF)] is now closed and its Archives of Cultural Tradition have been moved to the Special Collections Department of the University Library.
 Their important Collections include those of Dave Bathe, Alex Helm (microfilm copy) and Thomas Fairman Ordish (xerox copy). Also the paper records of the Ron Shuttleworth Collection
. Website:

Master Mummers – Folk Play Website. weblishes a number of texts together with extensive analyses thereof. Also an electronic version of the original Geographic Index.

Folklore Society
  Address: The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB
Tel: 020 7862 8562. Fax: 020 7862 8565
e-mail: enquiries @
. Website: 
 The access details for their important Library are too complex to explain here, so contact them about it.
 Their Collections include that of Thomas Fairman Ordish.

English Folk Dance and Song Society. (EFDSS)
Address: 2 Regent’s Park Road, London, NW1 7AY
Tel: 020 7485 2206. e-mail: library @
 Their Vaughan Williams Memorial Library lends books to Members and charges others a small daily fee for access.
It holds runs of magazines and journals and many manuscript texts and has many important Collections including that of James Madison Carpenter (microfilm copy). They have recently done a lot of work putting their material on-line under the title The Full English, although personally I do not find it easy to work with. It includes major Collections.

The Morris Ring [a national organisation for male Morris Dancers, Swordsmen and Mummers]
Contact details for officers, such as their Bagman (Secretary), change, so e-mail: RingBagman @
 They have an active and expanding Archive.

Finding Play Texts:

For texts from a specific locality, first consult the Geographic Index, Galoshins, etc. Your Local Studies Centre or County Archive may have material. but many older archives store folk plays under the names of their villages, which can be tedious. You could approach the bodies listed above, who might help or tell you of some local specialist.
If you do find unpublished texts or information please document them fully for those who come after, ideally sending copies to the EFDSS and the Morris Ring. Put them into your local Archives – where any donation, even printed material, improves your standing with archivists who treat you much better as a contributor.

In the Pipe-Line

Items believed to be ‘forthcoming’ [but don’t hold your breath!]
An Interim Checklist of Chapbooks Containing Traditional Play Text. 
Expanded and updated 2nd edn.
Chapbooks and Traditional Drama, Part 3: The Peace Egg