33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Looking for the Lost Gods of England (Paperback)
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.