The Druids: A History Paperback – 17 Apr 2008
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"Still, the druids exercise a powerful tug on some people's imaginations, and Hutton thinks their contemporary incarnations are extremely flexible. Archaeological readers will not learn much about real prehistoric Druids from this book, but many others will relish what it reveals about the foibles of humankind. Summing Up: Recommended. General, public, and undergraduate collections." E. J. Kealey, CHOICE, April 2008, Vol. 45, No.--Sanford Lakoff
About the Author
Ronald Hutton is Professor of History at the University of Bristol. As well as several major works on the British Civil War and seventeenth century history he is also the author of the Stations of the Sun, The Triumph of the Moon (Oxford University Press), Shamans and Witches, Druids and King Arthur (Hambledon/Continuum).
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is mainly a history of what people have written about druids, which is very interesting in itself.
As a Druid I think we should recognise the rich history of modern Druidry, as recounted in this book, and stop relying on minimal evidence from the past.
In this finely crafted study, the author subdivides the Druid myth into themes that have been used to characterise them over the past few centuries. There are the "Patriotic" and "Rebel" Druids, "Green" ones, while others are "Wise" or "Demonic". Each of these portrayals has been forwarded by scholars, poets, social commentators, and not a few charlatans. "Patriotic" Druids have been adopted by various writers to convey the notion that Druid rebellion against the Romans was a model for others rejecting imperial incursion, in Britain, notably against attempts by the Roman Church to overwhelm Anglican Protestantism. "Rebel" Druids, Hutton considers a modern phenomenon, a form of 20th Century counter-culture - "hippies with a cause". The extensive chapter on the "Wise" Druids, on the other hand, covers a range of views. Druids as teachers, religious leaders and intense observers of Nature granted their image great influence.Read more ›
The book is well written, but contains little new/ original ideas of the origins of this mystical people. I found that it was more out to discredit other (especially earlier) work than anything else, wich took away the exitement I initially felt the further I read...
Although one cannot say anything for certain about the original druids as everyone knows, I hope that the more in depth book will provide what I'm missing in this one.
Saying this though, the book offers a great overviewe of the history and originis of modern druids and the affiliated scocieties. For someone interested in this part of the "saga" it certainly gives you what you are looking for.
I'd say it's a great read for those who are interested in modern druidry, but for those wanting more on the original druids it offers up little insight, and if the latter be the case it's a start for the curious but not for the serious researcher who's got a knowledge base.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Druids by Ronald Hutton, reviewed by Philip Shallcrass.
This is the one we've all been waiting for: the first of Ronald Hutton's books on Druids. Read more
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