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Circles of Stone Hardcover – 23 Sep 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press; 1st Edition edition (23 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860466613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860466618
  • Product Dimensions: 25.5 x 2.7 x 25.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Categorised by the publisher as archaeology/history/photography, Circles of Stone does indeed straddle all these subjects. The volume is in itself a work of art, a stimulating introduction to a fascinating aspect of prehistory and a useful work of reference for anyone with an interest in ancient monuments. Fabulous photographs of 70 stone circles from all over the British Isles are accompanied by a factually rich text. The author, an established authority on prehistoric megaliths, gives an interesting impression of how the stones have been variously used and perceived through their long histories. Whilst allowing legend a voice, this text is not the place to find detailed speculation on prehistoric rites or ancient astronomy; its scope is more pragmatic and it includes details of the form and location of each monument and other interesting sites. Chronologically arranged, the selection begins with the circles of the Late Neolithic and ends in the Middle Bronze Age, showing a great variety of form over 2000 years. There is variety too in the photographic views, from panoramas to zoomed-in textural detail. The photographs themselves are dramatic. Taken in many different light conditions, they often capture the stones at their most evocative moments, showing how the illumination of the Sun and Moon and the form of the surrounding landscape is a vital part of their aura--just as was the case in prehistory. --Karen Tiley


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Here is my first impression of the book: Wow! I can see how some people got the idea that this book was an update of Burl's 1976 'Stone Circles of the British Isles'. It covers seventy sites in 230 pages and it's no coffee table book. Each circle has an outline plan and most sites have three or four photos giving Milligan the chance to pick interesting angles and individual stones. This is a philosophy I have tried to follow on the web where photos are almost free, but your average book shows one rather boring overall view of each site if you're lucky.
This, and things like the super-strokeable front and end-papers are why this book costs what it does. Milligan is described as one of Britain's most exciting new photographers, and he tackles the subject with energy. Commendably, he uses no ghastly graduated filters or other such fiddles. It hardly needs saying that Burl's lucid text and pithy wit are a pleasure, as always. There's even a 'carved head' from the Ring of Brodgar (frost action says Aubrey).
It's unusual in that there are no maps, and the circles are in order of date and name. Perhaps it's trying to steer away from being thought of as a guide book. Stirring the sites together like this makes for a fresh approach, and gives me the urge to reach again into the sack of reviewer's clichés and use the word juxtaposition. Apparently Circles of Stone was delayed three months from a July launch because the photography didn't come out 100% first time. This fanatic attention to quality is apparent throughout, and is doubtless why the Dr Burl was approached to write the text. Step aside Julian Cope, suddenly your holiday snaps look rather sad. I've run out of stars: 5/5!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book having been bowled over by Max Milligan's photography in 'Realm of the Incas'. Rarely do colour pictures capture the subtleties of Black and White photographs, and yet with nearly all his prints, texture and light are as important as the overall structure. For a snapper like me, his books teach you as much about photography as the fascinating subject matters chosen. Aubrey Burl, who I understand is THE authority on Stone Circles, manages to keep the information lively and readable. A really great book.
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Format: Hardcover
Stunning quality of both photographs and information. Apparently shot in every season, weather and time of day, including beautiful long exposures under the full moon. I particularly liked the idea of including grid references for these facinating sites. We intend to visit many!
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By A Customer on 4 Nov. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Some absolutely stunning photos of what amounts to a bunch of old rocks. Max Milligan brings alive whole landscapes and initmate portraits of what is an overlooked aspect of our history. The introduction probably provides the most interesting text with much but not all of the remainder accompanying the photos more useful as a guide. As a previous reviewer notes the images seem to have been taken at all times of the day; this reminds us that people built these stones in the way they did to align with the sun and or the moon. Bravo! An intelligent and beautiful book.
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Format: Hardcover
More of a flashy reference guide with the photographs outclassing the text, offering only brief descriptions of sites.
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