The Giants: Blunderbore

November 21, 2023 By arne hendriks Off

Although contemporary man can be considered a giant, we do not see ourselves as such. In fact we generally distance ourselves from the giant by associating them with forms of evil so outrageous that it doesn’t affect our sense of self. By short investigations of imaginary giants in folklore, art and literature collected in The Giants we try to understand something about how that works. To know ourselves we must know the other, especially the other we create in our imagination.

The Cornish giant Blunderbore first appears in the story “Jack the Giant Killer“. Like with many folkloric tales there are several versions. In the one recorded by Joseph Jacobs, Blunderbore kidnaps three lords and ladies and plans to eat the men and make the women his wives. He then invites the women to eat their husbands together with him. When they refuse, the giant hangs them by their hair and leaves them to starve. In most versions of the story the popular figure of Jack , sometimes called Tom, ends up killing the giant by either strangulation or slithering his throat. Then surprisingly, before he dies, Blunderbore confers all his wealth to Jack, or Tom, and requests a proper burial.