Notes On The Folklore Of The Fjort
Richard Edward Dennett
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'THE following collections reached my hands in a more or less fragmentary state, The bulk of the work had been written at one time, and little was needed to put it into a state for publication. But other portions, and those not the least important, had been written at different times and with different objects, and the task of weaving them all together in the author's absence was not a light one. Thus, though the author has read the proofs of all but Appendix II, it will be easily understood that the difficulties involved in passing a book of this kind through the press, while he was residing several thousand miles away, are such as to account for many imperfections, which would have been rectified had he been able himself to determine its final form and to superintend its publication. The sins of omission, of occasional repetition, and perhaps of occasional obscurity, that may be found, must therefore be laid at the editor's, and not at the author's door. I can only hope that the circumstances may be taken into account to extenuate these offences.
The difficulties I have referred to would, indeed, have been insuperable had it not been for the incessant help of Miss Kingsley. The debt due to her is by no means confined to the writing of her interesting and valuable introduction and the arrangement of Appendix I. She read all the manuscripts and selected in the first instance those most suitable for publication. Innumerable questions of detail have arisen in the course of printing, making it necessary to refer constantly to her, and in every case her knowledge of the country and the people, her time and thought, have been ungrudgingly placed at the service of the Folk-Lore Society. Lastly, she selected the photographs to be reproduced for the plates, and laid her own stock of negatives under contribution for the purpose of adding to them. It has been a matter of regret that the Society has been unable to avail itself to a greater extent of her kindness in this direction.
I am also indebted to Mr. W. H. D. Rouse for help kindly rendered in revising the Latin translation of the songs.
The orthography of the word Fjort has been adopted with some hesitation. Mr. Dennett has himself not always adhered to this form. In the chapter on the Death and Burial of the Fjort (which was communicated independently to the Society and published in Folk-Lore, vol. viii., p. 133), as it originally stood, he wrote Fiote. The pronunciation of the word would, I am informed, be more closely represented in ordinary English spelling as Feeaught.