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Feet-folks

I am communing with the ur-text at the moment (i.e. reading Dracula), and was tickled to notice last night that it contains a reference to Leeds - though not a very complimentary one! It's no great surprise, of course, given that a substantial chunk of the novel is set in Whitby, and indeed it is in the mouth of old Whitby fisherman Mr Swales that the reference comes. He is complaining about people being altogether too credulous about legends of bells ringing out at sea and White Ladies and such like:
Them feet-folks from York and Leeds that be always eatin' cured herrin's and drinkin' tea an' lookin' out to buy cheap jet would creed aught. I wonder masel' who'd be bothered tellin' lies to them, even the newspapers, which is full of fool-talk.
I'm not terribly sure what 'feet' means in this context, and Google isn't helping, even when I put the phrase in quotation marks to rule out ordinary references to feet. Maybe it just means foot-passengers who have come to Whitby on the train? Or might it be Bram's attempt at spelling a local pronunciation of 'fit', and perhaps means something more like 'fine folk' (in a sort of 'fit to be Queen' kind of sense)? If any genuine Yorkshire-born chums have a clue, let me know. If it's a proper dialect word, it will have been something Bram got out of a book on Whitby dialect which we know he used in his research.

[ETA: apparently I wasn't Googling very effectively before. I've found the answer now and my first guess was right: feet-folks are foot-passengers.]

Anyway, I will be going to Whitby myself in just over a fortnight, along with the lovely [personal profile] lady_lugosi1313, to join a long weekend event marking the 40th anniversary of the Dracula Society's first official trip to that location. I don't have any particular plans to eat cured herring or drink tea (which I hate), but I won't turn down any nice cheap jet, and I will make a particular point of believing any and all legends of the macabre and supernatural which anyone tells me for the entire weekend - just to annoy Mr Swales.


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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
huskyteer
Aug. 22nd, 2017 12:42 pm (UTC)
I am so stealing 'communing with the ur-text'.

It's amazing how much new stuff there is to pick up, even after repeated readings - often thanks to new life experiences acquired in the interim. I'm currently doing Fleming's Bond in chronological order, for the first time ever, and noticing lots of continuity and references that passed me by when I read them in no particular sequence.
strange_complex
Aug. 22nd, 2017 12:48 pm (UTC)
Sounds lovely! I read them all in my early teens, but because I found most of them in charity shops or libraries, I just read them in the order I found them, rather than chronologically. I'm sure there is indeed much to be gained by doing so.
huskyteer
Aug. 23rd, 2017 07:03 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly my experience! (The first I ever read was Dr No, which is probably one of the best for 'this is how a Bond novel works'.)
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