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Killing the May Queen

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Publication date1/05/2022
Number of pages9
Issue number7
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The white dress has a long history within folk horror. Although conventionally interpreted as symbolising virginity and purity, its close association with traditional May Day festivities suggests a more complex picture. The May Queen, clad in the colour of hawthorn blossom, represents fertility, growth and renewal. But in literature and film, May Queen figures tend to meet a dark fate. Why do we associate white robes with sacrifice and are those who wear them inevitably doomed?