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The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany [Hardcover]

Aubrey Burl
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 45.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Jun 2000
The spectacular stone circles of western Europe, some nearly 6000 years old, have intrigued viewers through the ages. This beautiful book about these megalithic rings explores their ancestry, methods of construction, and eventual desertion. A substantially revised version of Aubrey Burl's highly praised book The Stone Circles of the British Isles, it offers new insights into the purpose of stone circles. It also provides a new interpretation of Stonehenge and of Callanish in Scotland, the first overview of the cromlechs in Brittany, a discussion of the problems of archaeo-astronomy as related to stone circles, and includes a greatly expanded Gazetteer, and an up-to-date list of radiocarbon dates and recent excavations.

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The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany + Ancient Britain (Historical Map and Guide)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 478 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (28 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300083475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300083477
  • Product Dimensions: 26.3 x 20 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"An informed, informative, and well-balanced survey of the facts, fictions, and problems of our stone circles." Glyn Daniel, The Guardian "Burl's authoritative book is indispensable for anyone pursuing this tantalising enigma." Publishers' Weekly "A magnificent book thorough, lucid, scholarly, and at times poetic...A landmark book." Alan J. Friedman, San Francisco Review of Books "An admirable balance of scholarship and literary skill." New Yorker

About the Author

Aubrey Burl was formerly principal lecturer in archaeology, Hull College of Higher Education, East Riding of Yorkshire. He is the author of many books, including Great Stone Circles: Fables, Fictions, Facts (ISBN 0 300 07689 4, #19.95); From Carnac to Callanish: The Prehistoric Stone Rows and Avenues of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany (ISBN 0 300 05575 7, #29.95); and Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany (ISBN 0 300 06331 8, #9.95); all published by Yale University Press.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Despite its neglect Boscawen-Un, 'the house of the elder tree', is one of the most evocative megalithic rings in western Europe. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great work made better 28 Nov 2004
By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Aubrey Burl's previous works were showing a wee bit of dating. As carbon dating become more accurate, you are seeing these ancient rings grow older in age instead of younger as they anticipated. While Burl's previous works were amazing, this long awaited "update" of this information, as well as addition information on more recent excavations make this is must. Yes, it's expensive. But it's worth every penny. There are new insight in the the purpose of the rings of stone, a new interpretation of Calanais (sorry, as a Scot I refuse to call it Callanish!) and Stonehenge
The beautiful book is loaded with hundreds of photos, explores the ancestry, methods of construction and why they were abandoned after thousands of years of use.
Marvelous work made even better by bringing the information up to date.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Aubrey Burl has the credentials and credibility to author this, the best reference to the stone circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, with gusto. It is a powerful masterpiece which is long overdue in the world of prehistoric antiquarianism. It surpasses all contemporaries in the field with no difficulty. While many others, Julian Cope's tome included, are wonderful texts in themselves, none come close to the mastery of the subject area that Burl exhibits here.
The information shared with the reader is truly remarkable. Everything you will ever need to know about these stones is here, from the swirling myths and legends which surround such phenomena to historical, geographical, geological, astronomical and archaeological facts. The only thing left is to actually follow the maps and go and see them for yourself. It is one of the cheapest, most leisurely and yet interesting activities any one could ever do. The hefty price of this book is well justified.
It is the big brother of "A guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany", which is the smaller version or gazetteer to be carried around while tramping over the hills and moors searching for these elusive shrines. This book is a tad too big for space in the rambling haversack.
Every circle doesn't make it. "Bedd Gurfal" here in North Wales doesn't make an appearance, neither do a few other smaller rings, but all of the larger rings are not only mentioned, but are positively dissected with words, diagrams, pictures and academic hypotheses.
If you ever want to purchase an all knowing, all telling book on this subject, you need not look any further... Expensive, but truly magnificent.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book because I have found very little in English about the stones of Brittany. I was disappointed with that aspect of the book as there are only 11 pages on this area in a book of over 260. I do not think that the material warrants the inclusion of 'Brittany' as equal billing in the title and the title is therefore quite misleading. But the material on the sites on britain and Ireland is detailed, including map references, and very well presented. The book is small enough to go into a pocket and has hard-wearing covers. So, with the above qualification, I would rate it as very good.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent format, but not a comprehensive list 8 Aug 2002
By A Customer
I've used this book on many visits to English and Irish sites, and the layout of the book, directions to the various sites, and descriptions are excellent.
However, I was under the assumption that every significant site was listed, but during my last visit to Ireland, I visited 2 superb stone circles not even listed in the book. Why?
It's still worth every penny, and I know I'll use it again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars informative 3 Nov 2009
This is a book full of useful information and history. My one objection is that the photos are somewhat drab and, given the fascination and beauty of stone circles, they should not be. Clearly the book would be much more expensive if it had a lot of colour pictures, but I feel something is lacking in presentation with this book.

Having read the book more carefully, I'd like to praise the author's knowledge and fascination with his subject which have increased my appreciation of the book. The 'false' stone circles (18th and 19th century AD) are delightfully described at the end of the book and I was unaware that any such existed (although Will Self apparently built himself a megalithic monument in his garden after spending time exploring the amazing chambered cairns of Rousay, Orkney - Excuse irrelevant comment).

I still regret the lack of enticing photos in the book though.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth carrying in your backpack! 25 July 2000
By A Customer
Last summer I trekked all over the wilds of England looking at Circles, trotting over moors seeing Quoits and crawling into fougus. This book was a superb resource and worth twice the price. I am putting together a website about the journey and this book is like being back there again. My scribbled notes in the margins make me smile when I read them. f you are about to scamper off to Merrie Olde England, I strongly advise you order a copy of this book. I am glad I did. ~Amaneris~
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A word of warning - Amazon appear to have created a confusing situation here.

A. Burl has two books with very similar titles. The one shown here (Hardback) is "The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany" an updating of his 1976 "The Stone Circles of the British Isles".
The paperback listed under other buying options is "_A Guide to_the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany" the 2005 (very slightly) updated version of his book of the same title first published in 1995.

Do not make the mistake I did and buy the paperback listed here expecting the content shown above! I have rated the book 5 stars in the hope that people will see this warning - I have yet to.

It is very disappointing that Burl (and Yale who publish all the books mentioned) has given two quite different texts such similar titles though Amazon should really pay better attention.

Note that all the attached reviews for 'paperback' will be for the other book also.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Burl has written a good book, but has missed out many stone circles and ignores several theories for their existence here and elsewhere.
Published 3 months ago by Togolo
4.0 out of 5 stars Stone Circles
This is a mystical topic. I loved the book very factual .... I want to visist as many of these places as can I so its fab!
Published 11 months ago by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Circles are my passion.
This book is very comprehensive and a must to have in a reference library if you are a pilgrim to Stone Circles throughout Britain.
Published 11 months ago by Lorraine Pastras
4.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly guide
More for the afficionado than the casual visitor. Detailed site drawings and explanations. Pity there were no stunning colour photos.
Published 12 months ago by Siouxsie
5.0 out of 5 stars Sets the standard
Aubrey Burl sets the standard in this field, bought this to replace a copy I had mislaid when moving house - good to have it again
Published 14 months ago by I. S. Cheetham
4.0 out of 5 stars A survey of stone circles. Secondhand.
Not too impressed. I had hoped for a closely directed study of the topic but I found it somewhat rambly and superficial.
Book in good condition and price right.
Published 15 months ago by alanbb
4.0 out of 5 stars walks with a purpose
a useful book to keep with you on your travels. It's not pretty with lots of coloured photos, but it is very comprehensive, covering all the British Isles and Brittany too. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by Mrs. R. Hazlerigg
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to know about Stone Circles, look no further than Aubrey Burl.
This comprehensive text encompasses all there is to know about the stone circles of the western fringes of Europe. Read more
Published on 18 July 2011 by Mr. W. Bailie
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Field Guide
Whilst it is not quite a complete and comprehensive compilation of every stone circle in existence, this book has nevertheless been an indispensable field guide when seeking out... Read more
Published on 16 May 2011 by FUNgoid
4.0 out of 5 stars Stone Circles etc
Fascinating little book. Ideal for carrying in the glove box on the off chance you are passing some ancient site.
Published on 28 Mar 2011 by Mr. J. Evans
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