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on 8 March 2001
Clive Hicks has put together a useful guide to those wishing to increase their knowledge of the 'Green Man'. The book contains descriptions and illustrations of Green Men although many have been published previously. The main strength of the book lies in it's listing of churches in Great Britain which contain Green man carvings, these are presented alphabetically by county. Though by no means comprehensive it presents the reader with a useful field guide.There is even a section on Green Men on the Continent and further afield. For example several entries for South America. I would recommend this book to those wishing to explore this interesting subject further.
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on 6 June 2003
This book is divided into three main sections : the first is the author's own opinions on the Green Man; the second is a description of a selection of Green Men; the third is a directory of Green Men in Britain and abroad.
Of these, the first would only be useful to those who have no previous knowledge of what the Green Man is or what it represents. It's hard to imagine anyone buying this book who falls into that category; also, the first section is a bit dry and verbose and there are better introductions elsewhere.
The second section, the 'gallery', has some interesting historical bits and pieces, but the textual descriptions of individual Green Man carvings are a bit unnecessary. The excellent pictures in the book (albeit all in black and white) are much more interesting and highlight the author's main career as a photographer.
The third section is where this book excels - it is a directory of Green Men, primarily in Britain and Europe and a few from other places. For the interested, this section alone would make the book worth the price. Since buying the book I have used it as a reference to see if there are any Green Men near places I am visiting, and it has given me a fresh approach to looking at architecture and carvings in churches.
To summarise - newcomers to the subject should perhaps look elsewhere for background information first; those who are already interested should use this book as an excellent reference work.
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