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Why should a black cat crossing the road signify an accident to come? Why does Friday the 13th bring bad luck and misery? And why do we thump the table-top to prevent what has been said from becoming true. Such built-in reactions are remains of ancient popular beliefs: we have lost the background, … LES MER but they were once both logical and meaningful. Black Cat Across the Road is about superstitions, premonitions and strange signs that have been imprinted into folk memory for centuries. They were living realities and you had to know and relate to them and to protect yourself against them. This is an encyclopaedia which allows you to look up and read about black cats, April fools, changelings, ghosts, brainless blondes and why we chose red for girls and blue for boys. It includes signs in nature - birds, animals and plants. Each item is contextualised so that the reader learns about the origins of practices and notions which have survived to this day, although in a mechanical sense. LES MINDRE
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