Jeremy Bechelli 2024


LECTURE: Fallen Fruit: The Devil in English Botanical Folklore of the Autumnal Harvests

While grown worldwide, the blackberry (Rubus spp.) is particularly steeped in folklore on the British Isles. We will explore the fascinating relationships between the Devil and the blackberry in autumnal harvest traditions. Beyond their presence in hedgerows and pleasant jams, blackberries assume a darker persona, imbued with whispers of fallen angels and demonic temptation. We will explore how folktales and harvest customs describe the blackberry as a forbidden fruit, enticing us with its sweetness while being stained by the Devil’s touch. Drawing connections between the wider autumnal celebrations, we will examine how these favorite fall fruits are often associated with the fallen angels. From mischievous tricksters lurking in the brambles to sinister spirits demanding offerings in exchange for bountiful harvests, this exploration will elucidate the complex relationship between fear, superstition, and nature’s bounty. Through analysis of folklore and cultural practices, this presentation uncovers the fascinating layers of lore embedded within the simple blackberry, revealing its unexpected role as a potent symbol of the Devil’s existence in the English autumnal harvest.

In stock