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sabine baring gould celebration

Next year is the centenary of the death of an oft-forgotten but hugely influential and significant pioneer of folk song collecting, Rev Sabine Baring Gould, who started well over a decade before other well-known collectors and was actually the inspiration for Sharp to take up the challenge.

We’re marking it with a musical exploration of his work by six-time BBC Folk Award nominee Jim Causley, and Miranda Sykes of the Award-winning Show of Hands and Daphne’s Flight.

The Rev Sabine Baring Gould was much more than a vicar, and his complex and contradictory character is brought to life in our events.

He was one of the top ten best-selling Victorian authors; his Book of Werewolves is still the best respected on the subject today; his Book of Ghosts is still in print; his Book on Dartmoor is still a standard guidebook, as is his book on Iceland and it's myths- and he wrote Onward Christian Soldiers.

Yet he said that the most significant thing he did in his life was to collect nearly 2,000 songs from elderly working men and women to ensure that their culture, traditions and history would not be lost when they died.

In the concert, by singing some of those songs he collected, Miranda, Jim and narrator John Palmer interweave Sabine's own life with stories from his novels, anecdotes, and his fascination with desolate places like Iceland and Dartmoor, as well as his frightening explorations of the uncanny. It is produced by John, the creator of this year's critically acclaimed Vaughan Williams 150th anniversary concert tour of twenty Cathedrals, From Pub to Pulpit, and the successful musical play celebrating The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady Edith Holden's 2021 centenary.

Songs he collected run through all his books, and in the show you’ll hear how:
• A penny whistle saved a mother lost in a life-threatening snowstorm (Three Drunken Maidens)
• A ragamuffin fiddler’s favourite tune lived on in his instrument after he died (Bold General Wolfe)
• A ghostly hand at the window terrified the chambermaids (My Lady's Coach)
• And ….. How Sabine became Sherlock Holmes’s God Father.

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