Very Helpful, Concise and Packed with Information.,
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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!