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199 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Study of Early English Paganism, 2 Dec. 2001
This short book (approximately 55 pages) is a transcript of a talk given by the author, who is an expert in the field of pre-Norman-conquest England. The book is not a "New Age" pagan text, but a serious, academic, and properly sourced study of the pre-Christian beliefs which the very early English peoples brought with them to Britain from their continental Germanic homelands. However the author's style is direct, and there is an underlying tone of deep passion for her subject.
Particular and welcome attention is paid to the position and high degree of respect accorded to women in early Anglo-Saxon society, and how this was reflected in beliefs and stories surrounding goddesses and gods. There are many brief quotations from Old English sources, given in both the original form and modern translations. The text is straight forward and easy for the layperson to read, absorb and thoroughly enjoy. Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting & Informative, 23 Jun. 2010
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L. Matthews (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great little primer on Anglo-Saxon pagan beliefs, and though the text is quite short, it is loaded with information that would otherwise be very hard to come by. Herbert offers some interesting insights into Anglo-Saxon mythology; the possible link between Freo and Frig is both interesting and very well-researched. Even if you know a lot about the pre- Christian Anglo-Saxons, there will be something (indeed many things) in this book that you didn't know before. As well as the transcript there are further goodies in the back of the book, such as lists of Anglo-Saxon place names, festivals, songs and dances for spring and summer, several maps, and a comprehensive list of further reading. This text has greatly informed my own beliefs, and comes highly recommended.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anglo-Saxon Paganism, 25 Jan. 2009
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This was a very interesting book, albeit very short and concise. I read it within hours and managed to cover almost the entire thing in highlighting!

The contents of the book is as follows: Foreword, Text, The Heathen English Calendar, Songs and Dances For Spring and Summer, Glossary of Placenames, Maps, Runes, Index.

The subject matter of the book is fascinating. I've recently become interested in the Anglo-Saxon gods worshipped in England and this book does a nice job of explaining (very basically) the evidence left for them. If you're a Pagan looking to reconstruct then unfortunately in 'Looking for the Lost Gods of England' the writer offers very little in the way of practical evidence. The book is more concerned with the empirical evidence for the existence of the gods left behind in placenames, archaeological evidence and in literature.

The main gods dissected are Woden, Tiw, Ing, Frige and Thunor -- all a little too briefly for my liking but there was some extremely invaluable information provided at the same time (hence the mass of highlighting!).

Due to the nature of the book and the fact that the text is actually a lecture there is little historical context given which is the norm with most historical works -- indeed one weakness of the book is that it leaves almost no room for internal objectivity, in that there's not a whole lot of 'the weighing of both sides' of the argument. That said there's not much that Herbert discusses that is too tenuous and she always states when she is giving her opinion on things -- indeed, she makes quite a few rather well researched connections and explores some excellent and exciting theories, especially regarding the enigmatic Nerthus and Ingvi-Freyr.

Two good books to read with or after this one would be Lost Gods of England by Brian Branston and Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by HR. Ellis Davidson.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little companion book, 21 Mar. 2008
Only 55 pages long this is a little gem that i enjoyed reading but I can only recommend it as a companion to 'Gods and myths of northern europe' (see my reviews) or something similar. This is not suitable for a first time reader of the old Gods as it doesnt give you enough information.

Having read this for a second time recently i did find it very interesting and full of information, such as what the months were called in pre-christian times and events throughout the year. November was called Blotsmonath meaning blood month (or sacrifice month). And christmas was called Yule. This book doesnt talk about Gods much, but it is a very interseting book. Did you know that England was originally in southern Denmark. There is a map of it in this book. Its definitely worth a read for Anglo-Saxon enthusiasts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating world in a rich, though brief, depiction, 27 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Looking for the Lost God of England (Paperback)
I found this short book (whose title actually is Looking for the lost GODS of England) very good. It explains how Anglo-Saxon politheistic religion, while being essentially that of all germanic peoples including the Vikings, it had its own peculiar aspects, especially in the worship of Nature, embodied in Nerthus, a uniquely English deity. It also tells us how paganism survived long after the official conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxon kings and how even after the Norman conquest the rituals connected to the yearly rebirth of nature survived. The texts of charms and prayers are given in Old English and in translation. I certainly recommend it to readers who are interested in the archaic stages of English culture, especially if, like me, they have been foisted a rather vague and confused idea of "barbarians" and their world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful, Concise and Packed with Information., 5 Jan. 2014
By 
H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looking for the Lost God of England (Paperback)
I love this wee book by Kathleen Herbert who tells us more about the religion of the Anglo-Saxons in its 60 pages than many other works over twice its length manage to do. In addition to the main text the work contains five very helpful maps, a section concerning songs and dances for spring and summer, a heathen English calendar, a glossary of place names and an index.

In the main, it seems that the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons were a peace loving crowd who only engaged in war if there was no other choice. They didn't behave any worse or do any more bad things before they became Christians than they did after embracing the Christian Faith. It seems it was the leaders who were the most keen to embrace Christianity because they saw in its hierarchical organisation a pattern to be adopted for their own absolute rule over their subjects. Old Anglo-Saxon pagan beliefs have lingered on in our culture right down to the present day.

Four days of the week are named after the ancient Anglo-Saxon gods, plus two after the sun and moon and one, Saturday, after a Roman god. Even the Christian liturgical year follows the pattern of pre-Christian rituals with the most important of all Christian festivals, Easter, retaining the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess of renewal, Eastre, whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox on 21 March. It was these pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons who founded the basis of the English language now the second most spoken language in the world next to mandarin Chinese.

All too often we find that, when we access a reference book to find out information about something, we have to wade through a despondent slough of irrelevancies before we find what we are looking for - if we're lucky. This wee book is so good that it's quicker than looking things up on the internet. Wafflers watch out! Kathleen Herbert's about!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, 9 Jan. 2012
By 
Anne (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Looking for the Lost God of England (Paperback)
This fascinating little book answers so many questions! Clearly written and originally researched, it illuminates the roots of so many hints of forgotten tales and beliefs that normally elude comprehension! For example, though the writer mentions no awareness of the strange legend of the Cross at Waltham Abbey, to me the story makes more sense now I realise that there is a motif clearly added to suggest a link with the ancient earth-goddess carried by an oxen-led cart which this writer does explain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read aboutthe origins of modern religeous figures and ..., 8 Sept. 2014
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Very interesting read aboutthe origins of modern religeous figures and the uncanny similarities to old pagan rituals/festivals. Well played Catholicism, well played.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Looking for the Lost God of England (Paperback)
good book !!
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Looking for the Lost God of England
Looking for the Lost God of England by Kathleen Herbert (Paperback - 3 Jan. 2011)
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