Westwood, Jennifer 1940–2008

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Westwood, Jennifer 1940–2008

(Jennifer Chandler, Jennifer Fulcher)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 1, 1940, in Norton Subcourse, a village of Norfolk, England; died of cancer, May 12, 2008. Folklorist, educator, television and radio personality, tour guide, children's writer, and author. Westwood's expertise and interests lay in the areas where history, folklore, and legend are mostly likely to meet. It all began, she once told CA, when her son craved stories. Since she was a university student of Old and Middle English and Anglo-Saxon, the stories that came to mind were very old, but her son enjoyed them. It occurred to her that others, and not just children, might also enjoy modern renditions of these ancient tales. Old English led to Old Norse; medieval England led to the Dark Ages; and legends led to the historical background from which they had emerged. Westwood spent her career teaching "lost languages," presenting children's programs for the British Broadcasting Corporation, and publishing books of history, tales, and legends. Her special interest was folklore—the body of oral tradition passed down over the centuries by nameless people unable to record their stories in writing, with a side interest in the landscape and artifacts of old England. For a time she conducted "Magical Britain" tours from a base in Glastonbury, England, a community on the Isle of Avalon and the reputed burial place of the legendary King Arthur. Westwood published more than a dozen books, including Medieval Tales (1967), Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain (1985), The Atlas of Mysterious Places: The World's Unexplained Sacred Sites, Symbolic Landscapes, Ancient Cities, and Lost Lands (1987), Sacred Journeys: An Illustrated Guide to Pilgrimages around the World (1997), and The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England's Legends, from Spring-Heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys (2005). At the time of her death, Westwood was reportedly finishing a book on Scottish folklore and preparing for a work on the folklore of sailors and the sea, both of which are expected to be completed by others and published at some time in the future.



Times (London, England), May 26, 2008, p. 45.

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Westwood, Jennifer 1940–2008

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Westwood, Jennifer 1940–2008