Latter-day Lore: Mormon Folklore Studies.

Author:Green, Spencer

Latter-day Lore: Mormon Folklore Studies Edited by Eric A. Eliason and Tom Mould. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press. 2013. Pp. xi + 591, introduction, notes, bibliography, contributors, sources of previously published chapters, index.

Austin and Alta Fife's Saints of Sage and Saddle, published in 1956, is still seen by most scholars as the most comprehensive treatment of Mormon folklore, However, Latter-Day Lore: Mormon Folklore Studies stands firmly as a long-needed update to the Fife's seminal work, offering a great retrospective of where Mormon folklore scholarship has been, and pointing to some promising places it can go next. Given such breadth, Latter-day Lore offers a fairly comprehensive--but by no means exhaustive --collection of Mormon folklore, covering a wide breadth of topics, genres, and themes. If a topic is not included in the collection, chances are it can be found in the "notes" or "bibliography" sections in the back. As such, it provides a great "where have we been?" of Mormon folklore scholarship and will surely take its place next to the Fife's work as a cornerstone of Mormon folklore.

The book is divided into six sections covering the Mormon Cultural Region (MCR), customs and traditions, supernatural folklore, Mormon history, humor, and, finally, international Mormon folklore. Each section opens with an introduction written by the editors and filled with a collection of previously published articles and chapters from prominent scholars of Mormon Folklore. The organization may seem arbitrary since it mixes genre, theme, topic, and geography as organizing principles; however, the introductions ground each section in Mormon history even as it echoes the history of Mormon folkloristics. The sections are then comprised of chapters of previously published work from prominent and emerging scholars famous in and outside of Mormon folklore. The section introductions provide concise historical overviews that help contextualize the succeeding chapter within Mormon history and folkloristics. This is a great strength of the collection and could have been even more emphasized. One way to do this would have been to incorporate original publication dates of the chapters more prominently. Because Latter-day Lore does want to show where the scholarship has been, foregrounding the original publication dates would help emphasize the historical contexts of each article within Mormon folkloristics. In addition to addressing the...

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