This critical introduction considers all the chapters in Folklore and Nation in Britain and Ireland. It suggests means to connect these individually focused essays and thinks further within (and without) their collected themes. The introduction begins with a consideration of the collection’s antecedents and those literatures and research areas outside its scope. The interdisciplinary nature of the volume is explained by an account of the context of its production; the disciplinary focus on folkloristics is then further explicated. Four explanatory themes are relied on to structure the introduction. The first is networks, which is considered firstly via the network formed by the collection’s authors and then through the way the chapters consider the social base of folklore. Locality, region and nation are discussed. Secondly, the introduction considers England and the country’s absence and presence throughout the volume. Thirdly, the folkloristic dichotomy between Romantic and Enlightenment perspectives is used to think about the role of imaginative art in folkloristics. Finally, the question of authority, power and the law is thought through. Fascination as a theme is discussed, which leads into a consideration of fascism and folklore. The introduction concludes with a discussion of potential areas of future research.