Tourists are told that ravens at the Tower of London first had their wings clipped in the reign of Charles II, who heard an ancient prophesy that Britain would fall if they left. In fact, the tower ravens are entirely a Victorian institution. This paper examines their legend as an invented tradition, as fakelore, and as a modern myth. It finds that the tale has some authentic basis in legend, but commercial exploitation has prevented it from fully developing. The paper concludes by proposing a colony of ravens might be kept in the Tower without coercion, and they could be allowed to leave or return, thus always generating new stories.
"The Tower Ravens: Invented Tradition, Fakelore, or Modern Myth?,"
Storytelling, Self, Society: Vol. 6
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/storytelling/vol6/iss3/5