Nummits and Crummits is a collection of superstitions, charms, sayings, stories and songs collected by the author from Devonshire acquaintances and newspapers at the end of the nineteenth century. As the author wrote in her Preface, 'They illustrate what the people actually believe in, say, and do, and shew the general trend of their minds. Their belief in the supernatural is unbounded. Neither age, social position, nor culture makes much difference: one and all are more or less wedded to the superstitions, beliefs and traditions of their ancestors.'
Some of these superstitions are still widespread and common today; others, such as the charm for securing luck at games of chance, are less accessible. In the latter case, the advice is to 'suspend by the silken cord around the neck , a section of the rope with which a person has been hanged.' Another unlikely proposition is the cure for colic- 'Mix equal quantities of elixir of toads and powedered turkey rhubarb.'
Devonshire has also had its share of eccentrics, the lives of several of whom are recounted in this collection. Among them is Mary Wilcocks, who for a while successfully adopted the guise of a foreign princess, Javasu, going as far as to invent an exotic language for her role.
The dialect is also well represented in this fascinating book, a collection which give a humorous but truthful insight into the old traditions of Devonshire.
Book in Very Good condition with dust jacket intact. Small bump to rear board. Firmly bound. No markings to the text.