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Megaliths: The Ancient Stone Monuments of England and Wales [Hardcover]

David Corio , Lai Ngan Corio
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Sep 2003

David Corio has systematically photographed the megalithic sites of England and Wales with the eye of a great landscape photographer as well as with the passion of an explorer in the ruins of an ancient culture. These photographs go to the heart of prehistoric England and reveal a profound sense of 'place'. The sites are revealed with all the beauty that invited Romantic speculation from the seventeenth century onwards as well as the encroaching modern world of distant urban skylines and protective barriers.

Lai Ngan's text distils the mythical narratives that arose around these extraordinary structures and places as well as pointing to the recent astronomical and mathematical research which suggests their remarkable function in the prehistoric calendar. The photographs point to the beginning of architecture itself in Britain, with the suggestion of both sacred and secular function, layered in the fabulous tales of popular imagination.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; illustrated edition edition (11 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224064649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224064644
  • Product Dimensions: 31 x 30 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 830,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A large format coffee table book containing wonderful b/w photos of some of the most famous landmarks around the country' -- The Modern Antiquarian, October 2003

'Corio captures that curious quality of many extraordinary landmarks - that they are simultaneously smaller or larger than you expect' -- The Times, 22nd October 2003

'Looking at David's spectral photographs it's easy to see why these wonderful prehistoric monuments attract so many stories' -- Elle magazine, October 2003

'Megaliths features David Corio's handsome black-and-white photographs... The accompanying text gracefully recounts the legends associated with each site' -- Archaeology magazine, Spring 2004

'This book is probably the most visually appealing of any I've seen on the same subject' -- Amateur Photographer, September 2003

'This fascinating book...sets itself a seemingly overwhelming brief and well lives up to the challenge' -- Royal Photographic Society Journal, October 2003

'When sated with David's sumptuous photography, one is drawn to Lai Ngan's finely-honed monographs' -- British Journal of Photography, August 2003

Book Description

The best photographic survey of megalithic sites to be published, accompanied by a highly authoritative text describing, first, the legends surrounding each site, highlighting the folklore tradition, then addressing the mathematical and astronomical significance of the major sites such as Stonehenge.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Megaliths 21 Oct 2003
A haunting study of the megalithic sites of England and Wales, David Corio's b&w photographs, reminiscent of the landscapes of Ansel Adams, manage to be both epic is scale while offering an intimate portrait of many of Britain's extraordinary prehistoric ruins, including a fresh take on the most famous of them all - Stonehenge.
The comprehensive photographic survey is accompanied with richly illuminating texts by Lai Ngan Corio, who explores the multitude of myths, legends and some of the more wild interpretations the megaliths have evoked through the millennia.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
On the one hand this book is an important photographic work. Over 20 years Corio has recorded our ancient sites in a series of spectacular black and white images which portray each site within its own distinct landscape. These range from an otherworldly longshot of Dartmoor to an intimate portrait of a stone in Wales which just happens to be in a little old lady's back garden.
On the other hand the book is an often hilarious summary of the personal history of each of the stones - the stones being the characters in an picaresque romp around ancient Britain. As you metaphorically rattle around in the back of your tour guides' Transit van visiting site after site in a marathon that makes the "Three Peaks" challenge seem like a walk in the park, Lai Ngan entertains and educates with a never-ending stream of anecdote, myth and folklore.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fantastically beautiful photographs and an incredible and fascinating collection of folklore related to the Stones and their locality. I've visited some of the more well known sites like Avebury, Stonehenge and some lesser known ones like The Devil's Den and Swinside - the photos are so atmospheric and have captured the aura and mystery around the stones. And the stories of the local legends gave me alot more insight and appreciation of the sites. Makes me want to go "stone-hunting" again!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mega-Book 9 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book because I love megaliths.

If you love or quite like Megaliths then you should buy this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Book 1 Nov 2008
By Theseus - Published on Amazon.com
Big, bold, heavy, epic. A square 4 pounder on glossy stock with over 125 black and white photos.

Dustjacket Blub: "This superb photographic survey of the megalithic sites of England and Wales has been conducted by David Corio with the eye of a great landscape photographer as well as the passion of an explorer of the ruins of an ancient culture. These photographs go to the heart of prehistoric Britain."

Regarding Lai Ngan Corio's text, the book harkens back to the multiple, speculative, and often wholly speculative theories that have been put forward over the centuries to explain the purposes behind megalithic structures. She explicates "the rich layers of myth and legend that surround the stones. The oral history attributed to certain sites is as much a reflection of the limits of early knowledge, as the computer analysis of alignments is a reflection of the science of the modern astronomer or geometrician."
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