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The Megalithic European: The 21st Century Traveller in Prehistoric Europe [Hardcover]

Julian Cope
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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‘Insightful essays…Terrific and daft in equal measure.' MAIL ON SUNDAY
'Not only a joy, but a useful field guide.'
'A handsome traveller's text…A remarkable fusion of scholarship, practical advice and visionary insight.' THE EXPRESS
'A sumptuous technicolour delight. Erudite, playful and provocative.' MOJO
'A strange and marvellous artefact, remarkable for its seriousness as much as its frivolity.' WEEKEND REVIEW, THE INDEPENDENT
'Utterly unique…opens a real window on Britain's prehistory.' THE TIMES
'A ripping good read.' THE TIMES
'Immensely detailed and sumptuously illustrated…an essential guide' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH


'An inspiring book, and practical too.' HERE'S HEALTH

'Striking a tone of impassioned authority, this book finds time to rail against the Judaeo-Christian mindset while painting the Neolithic landscape as an inspirational antidote to modern urban blues.' SELECT

'This beautifully designed tome…could inspire anyone to put on their wellies and go yomping across the moors to investigate for themselves. A great work by a great British eccentric.' MELODY MAKER

'An entertaining mixture of history and travelogue.' THE A LIST, THE MIRROR

'A unique blend of information, observation, personal experience and opinion which is as unlike the normal run of archaeology books as you could imagine.' THE INDEPENDENT

Hilarious, observant and deeply subversive.' I-D

'Considered and self-deprecating…Mighty.' TIME OUT

'Repossessed…is one of the best books about the 80s ever written and without doubt the best book about toy cars, hermiting, integrity and drug paranoia.' THE GUARDIAN

'Cope's passion and intelligence are well served by a vein of self-deprecating wit.' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

'Wondrous memoirs of fleeting stardom and LSD-induced psychosis.' Q MAGAZINE [The 50 Best Music Books Ever, 2001]

'Cope's rocking writing at its most infectious, moving and hilarious.' NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS

'Compulsive reading…This man is truly a genius.' LOADED

'A wryly rendered masterpiece.' Q MAGAZINE

From the Author

"The Megalithic European is the conclusion of a 10-year odyssey that began with my research for its predecessor, The Modern Antiquarian, and took me far beyond the prehistoric sites of Britain dealt with in that first book. From here I literally journeyed from the temple circles of Ireland to the stone boats of Scandinavia and megaliths of the Mediterranean. What emerged was a 21st Century travelogues through some of the oldest structures in the world.
I also realised that no-one had even attempted a thorough look at Europe before and even the existing books that had skimmed the surface were long out of print. The Megalithic European is my second huge guide to the first monuments of humanity, this time taking in over 300 prehistoric sites on mainland Europe and in its islands. The essay section examines the mystery of our prehistoric beginnings in order for us to understand and enrich our lives in the here and now. The gazetteer section is relentlessly thorough, with detailed instructions on how to get to these sites, and is stuffed as full as I could make it with over 800 colour photographs, maps, antiquarian drawings, reconstruction illustrations of these sacred places, and my own black and white drawings which just seemed to multiply as I moved from place to place.
The secret weapon of this book is the surprising accessibility of these prehistoric megaliths. British travellers love to go abroad and the megalithic sites just happen to be in many of the places the British like to go already. Perfect. Low cost airlines can whizz you to places you’ve barely heard of and you’re only a half-hour away from great stones! Mums or Dads who always spoil their kids’ holidays with re-routes away from the beach onto Bodmin Moor can now set their kids up and troll around umpteen Sardinian, Menorcan, Mallorcan, Maltese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Breton or Irish stone circles, etc. Compromises can be had in the northern sites around the Baltic, where kids will be happy to spend the summer in clean seas, with megaliths close to the Dutch, German, Danish and Swedish coasts.
I felt that a British overview could get open-minded travellers out there to the monuments themselves - an ideal way to move the study up one further notch, getting some kind of dialogue going that will allow us all to see the context of our ancient past.
I’m past the stage of trying to theorize about these places. I know what I believe, but I’m more interested in getting other people to see for themselves. Yes, the book is heavyweight and archeologically thorough, but, better still, it’s full of amazing photogenic sites across Europe that could make anyone travel."


About the Author

Julian Cope shot to fame with the band Teardrop Explodes during the Punk era. He has continued to make albums and produce other performers. He is hailed as a visionary by those people who recognise his genius and a madman by those who find him perlexing. He has written three books all of which have received ecstatic reviews. His most recent book , The Modern Antiquarian established itself as a classic travel guide to ancient Britain. It sent ripples through the world of archaeology and spawned a BBC documentary of the same name. It book remained in the bestseller lists for many weeks.

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