Isabella Anderton (1858-1904) is an English folklorist, whose collections of Tuscan tales testify to the attraction of Italian popular culture for British travellers of the wealthy classes. Although her articles and her posthumous book, Tuscan Folk Lore and Sketches (1905), do not reveal the conditions of her ethnography, she maintains privileged relations with the peasants of the Pistoia mountain region — considered particularly untouched by modernity — which would have been less likely in her own country.
“An Englishwoman ‘di grande dottrina e gusto’: Life and Work of Isabella Mary Anderton”
David Hopkin, 2018
Isabella Anderton’s one work of folklore, Tuscan Folk-Lore and Sketches, appeared posthumously in 1905, and it is slight: a mere nine tales collected in the Pistoia region of Tuscany together with a handful of articles on Italian customs, joined with other pieces which are neither about folklore nor Tuscany. However, her relatively brief life illustrates the attraction that Italian folk culture held for English visitors of a certain class and (...)