I’ve just finished reading The Magic Spring: My Year Learning to be English by Richard Lewis and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book details the author’s travels around the country investigating English folk music and traditions, in search of what can best be described as his roots. The book takes a sympathetic, lighthearted but no-nonsense look at morris dancing, mummers’ plays and the like, with a sprinkling of historical information which provides the reader with a good bit of background knowledge. He’s not fazed by the lack of evidence for any great antiquity in many of the events he describes, as he comes to accept that what really matters is what people do now and how enjoyable it is to get involved.
Does he manage to find what he’s looking for? I suggest you read the book and find out.