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Yorkshire folk talk and East Riding Dialect
by Rev. M Morris, T. Holderness
A farmer's adventures in London
by T. Goorkrodger
Yorkshire tales (3 books), Yorksher Puddin'
by John Hartley
Tales of the Yorkshire Wolds
by J. Keighley Snowden.

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The Contents of Yorkshire Folk Talk :

A transcription of the Preface of "East Riding Dialect":

Perhaps all the following pieces were written by natives of the North Riding, and consequently, as originally published, were in the North Riding Dialect . I have good reasons for believing that some of those by the Rev. Thos. Browne, of Hull, were written at Bridlington, while he was residing there, but, as he was born at Lastingham, and spent his school-boy days there, a few of the words betray their native origin, and very many of the words, in the volume of his poems, which was published shortly after his death, appear in their national rather than in their local pronunciation.

Many of the pieces have been repeatedly published, and the spelling in the different editions is very various, The printers seem to have taken great licence in this respect. In an old edition which I have some one has introduced the following lines into "The Invasion :"

"For Howe, lang sen, thoo knaws, did bang em weel,
And Jarvis meead the braggadosha's feel :
And Duncan beeat the Franck at Camperdown,
Whilst Nelson gat in Egypt vast renown ;
An' tho' , at last, poor fellow, he did fall,
He liv'd, thenk God, until he beat ' em all.
Why varry latly our brave lads hev ta ' en,
The fleets and stoors belanging te th' Dane ."

This makes Mr. Browne relate events which did not occur till several years after his death, and would seem to be good evidence that he did not write "The Invasion," but I know he did, and I believe this was one of those he wrote at Bridlington. Besides, there is the evidence of the volume of his poems, in which it appears, published in the year 1800.

As this pamphlet is intended specially for the East Riding, I have taken the liberty to alter the spelling so as to give a tolerably correct idea of the local pronunciation.


A transcription of the Contents of "Tales of the Yorkshire wolds" :


A transcription of the Preface "Tales of the Yorkshire wolds":

THIS book has been reprinted by a new printer ; and looks so different that many people will mistake it for another. Therefore, taking all risks of an action for Libel, I must explain why I broke with the first printer.

To be quite fair, I had thought his work passable. A good many pages were smudged or thumb-marked ; but of course the binder called attention to these, and they were discarded. Here and there, too, the ink seemed to have faded in queer, unaccountable patches ; and it is no use pretending that he could spell, because that was just where he most signally failed . Still, the binding pleased me. It gave the book an appearance of finish. I mean that when bound this book looked like other books ; and somehow, until then, I had doubted whether it would do so. I got a good deal of quiet satisfaction out of it by putting it in places where I could see the binding. It appeared to me that the public would judge by the binding what sort of book it was.

So the printer and I continued good friends, and dined at an expensive eating-house . The estrangement came when the " Pall Mall Gazette " said that the stories were like " pearls set in brass ." I had not paid him, and it is perhaps natural that a man who gives his time and skill for nothing should be sensitive to criticism . He did not get anxious about payment ; by common consent the subject was tacitly avoided. Never, I suppose, were the relations between author and printer more delicate, more touching . But after this, my printer had a furtive look that was infinitely pathetic ; and I, who knew him well, and had jested with him in the heyday of his blundering confidence, was quick to perceive that he wished to be forgotten. Nor was I mistaken . When the publishers wrote for more sheets, he excused himself.

I have only to add that the printer was not Mr. James Wright, who, with a rare magnanimity, lent his name to the first edition . He was, in fact, your humble and contrite servant, the Author, who hereby tenders to many indulgent people who have bought the book his apologies for its manifold imperfections. If they will forgive him, he may appeal with a better grace to the brotherhood of printers, whose ancient art and mystery he has lightly abused . But in any case, these craftsmen may be sure that, as it was a first, so it is a last offence. The transgressor has learned to respect, not alone that art and mystery, but a certain injunction still more ancient, once addressed to a cobbler.

March 17th, 1894 .

A transcription of the Press Notices taken from "Tales of the Yorkshire wolds":

A comparatively new author, who has already displayed a depth of feeling which assures him a distinguished place among writers of fiction ."—Birmingham Gazette. "

A welcome new comer. Mr. Snowden's book gives a keen delight. The dialect story is sometimes, in clumsier hands, a thing of terror, but Mr . Snowden manages the introduction of his passages of the broad and manly speech of the North West Riding with such tact that the dialect becomes a beautiful embroidery, giving the tales richness and force . The author has addressed his preface to Yorkshire readers. That they will be numerous and enthusiastic may be taken for granted, but that they will be his only public is no more possible than that Californians should monopolize the writings of Bret Harte."—Pall Mall Gazette. "

The writer has told every story with simple grace and charm . His local colouring is perfect and his diction faultless. A clever and brilliant writer of short stories."— Manchester Courier. "

We find here in a small volume, comprising about a dozen short tales, situations of tragic intensity, passages of tender pathos, and tracts of broad sunny humour . It is in the intense realization of character that the chief strength of these stories lies, and it is impossible not to think of the Slowits, Ernest Kershaw, Dick Denholme, the rough but heroic Bowey Thick'un, Doase, and others, as real living persons. But there is more than strength of character-drawing to recommend these tales. They show a rare constructive skill. The combination of vigour and tenderness on the one hand with purposeful movement and action on the other, in the delineation of a fine and picturesque type of character which has hitherto in fictional literature met with slight attention, give a unique charm to ' Tales of the Yorkshire Wolds .' Birmingham Daily Post. "

A new district and a new gift."—St. James's Gazette. "

Would have commanded attention anywhere, even without the local character in them. Mr . Snowden handles humour and pathos with equal skill, whilst he is not afraid to touch with a firm hand some of the saddest problems of life . "—Yorkshire Post. "

Quite clearly Mr. Keighley Snowden understands at first hand the life of the rural and manufacturing districts of our own county, and he has brought to its interpretation vivid sympathy, imaginative insight, genuine humour, and marked literary skill . Brilliant transcripts from the human document."—Leeds Mercury. "

'An Idyl of Wharfedale' and `The Angel Barmaid' appeal to the tenderest feelings. "—Scotsman.

"The stories are written with exceptional skill . They are simple, but with that simplicity which it is the triumph of art to attain, and they blend a quiet, quaint, characteristic humour with natural and genuine pathos . "—Glasgow Herald. "

The tales are idyllic, and redolent with the freshness of the Yorkshire hills and dales. A clear picture of Yorkshire village life, with all its joys and sorrows ."— West Yorkshire Pioneer.

A transcription of the Preface of "A Famer's adventures in London":

I was deedy over my book one day, when the Printer's Devil cam e rushing in . " Measter says," says he, " he's gotten nae mair room, and you mini coot all this copy oot," giving me back two of my best chapters . " Weel," says I, " that's nice and pretty. ' It's bard whistling withoot a top lip .' What'll the public think ; and I've promised 'ema chapter on the precious Smuggins Family, who stole a pairt of my famus book, my Oops and Doons ? But I suppose it canna be helped, andI must do my best and mak' a preface oot of old Mrs . Smuggins hersen." Here goes ! Of all the uncanny, cheeky, cantankerous, wizened-oop, ancient Cockney females I met in London, Mrs . Catherine Smuggins is the bell wether. She hates Yorkshire and everything in it ; and has—the old she gawvison and her husband and I-would-be-swell of a son—written a lot of mean strackle-brained rubbish aboot oor noble county, and plundered my book . I went by tram one morn oop to Brixton Hill to have it oot with 'em . When I got to Perseopolis Willa—as they call their stuck-oop and stuccoed brick house—they live on a Rise, and it is a rise for them from a second floor back in the sweet smelling New Cut ! When I say I got to their Willa and knocked, a great fat-faced lump of a chap— butler, gardener, groom, and footman all in one—opened the door . Says I, " Can I see Mr. or Mrs. Smuggins ? " " Master is hout, but Misses is hin ; I'll take your card hin if you like, " says he . " No you woan't," says I, for I haven't gotten one ; "but just say Timothy Goorkrodger, Bonnybeck, Yorkshire, would like a word with Mrs . Smuggins." He had hardly turned his back when the old lady plumped forward . " I suppose," says she, " your're the Yorkshire gent as sent us a lot of hinsulting and hinsolent letters and made the most hatrocious and howdacious himputations." " No, marm," I says back, interrupting, " I'm not a gent, and as for insults and insolence, et settera, this talk is nobbut all of a piece with stealing my " Oops and Doons ." " Stealing ! " says Mrs . Smuggins, "I wish my husband and Adolphus was here ; they'd soon make you swallow them there words ! you huncultiwated fellow, you ! " " Would they ?" says I, " I know ' hoo monny beeans mak' five,' and I doan't think they would ! I say it's stealing and falsifying and ootraging human natter to come minchin' and munchin' aboot oor country, listenin at Yorkshire keyhoiles to mak' a jubblement, fratchin and Mackin, and kickin' oopa dust—" " Don't make a row here," say the amiable creature back, " you're not in your own barbarous county now ; we pay police rates in London, and lathes can be protected ' ere . It's a honour for hus to print part of your nasty, stupid book in one of ourn ; but I aint a-going to demean myself a-harguing with low people . You'll obleedge me by leaving our premises and shutting the willa gate after you ." " I'll leave that to your second-hand flunky," says I . ' I'll go ; you're a woman, and branks* are oot of fashion noo—mair ' s the pity. I'd say much mair if Mr. Smuggins or your eon were here . One last word, marm : next time you coom intul Yorkshire doant over-egg your pudding, and speeak the truth ! " " Go into Yorkshire again ! " says the old vixen back, " I' d rayther be hexilled for hendless hages," and bang went the door in my face. There ! that's my Preface. TIMOTHY GOORKRODGER.

* An iron instrument like a bit anciently put on scolds

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