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The Living Stream: Holy Wells in Historical Context Paperback – 25 Oct 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Boydell Press; New edition edition (25 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085115848X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851158488
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 753,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Excellent and innovative historical study... Rattue steers us clearly through a succinct exposition of the origins, changes in use, and development of popular and elite rituals covering British wells and springs... an invaluable history of their cultural importance to local communities, stripping away the false accretions of centuries of romantic myth and legend. ALBION The holy well is the absolute combination of mystery and utility. There are hundreds of them still to be found, some easily, others with good maps. This useful book lists them all, and in so doing takes us into the realm of a still little-known spiritual area... It also leads us through many exceedingly interesting though remote areas of Celtic and English Christian history. RONALD BLYTHE, TABLET Seminal, original and genuinely historical study whose fresh waters flow into many fields. CHURCH HISTORY (US) An enterprisingly stimulating book. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Format: Paperback
It's rare to find a history book that's a real page-turner, but I read this one at a single sitting because I couldn't bear to put it down.
It helps that Rattue, as well as being an accomplished historian, is also a master of the pithy one-liner as a form of subtle criticism, but the book is so well researched that it would be compelling in any case. Beginning by outlining the origins of well worship in the ancient world, the author considers the relationship between wells, society in general and Christianity in particular. That the final chapter, considering modern attitudes to holy wells, is subtitled "wells and suburban angst" may give some idea of the author's approach.
For any well enthusiast, the book would be worth having for the gazetteers and bibliography alone - where I'm familiar with the primary sources used, these are accurately cited and unlike much of the "new-age" literature on the subject, this book is mercifully free from selective quotation. It deserves to become the standard work on the topic and will hopefully encourage further research.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with most books that have been written on this subject, the author traces the development of the religious uses of water from thoses which were based largely in superstision, such as pilgrimages to and veneration at holy wells, through the protestant reformation when a new 'reformed' religious landscape began to emerge. Of course this may be viewed as a positive advancement, however, it seems that there is still a certain sense of longing for those lost days when the natural world was more simply appriciated lodged in modern nostalgia! A very interesting book overall that should hopefully inspire interest in some of the UK's less well known and hard to find historic sites!
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Format: Paperback
This book about ancient Holy Well in the UK is fascinating and informative as many still exist in one form or another. Book arrived promtly and in good condition. Thank you
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great info but don't like the text type and format.
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