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The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain : Including a Gazetteer to Over 300 Prehistoric Sites Hardcover – 14 Apr 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons; UK ed. edition (14 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722535996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722535998
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 4.3 x 29.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Julian Cope has come a long way since the Teardrop Explodes. For eight years he has researched Britain's megalithic heritage in order to write about its inspirational and mythic importance.The Modern Antiquarian is quite an achievement, in which the singing space cadet once more reconciles himself to Earth. Book One is a series of ten essays reconstructing British paganism prior to the muscular intervention of Christianity. Seriously subjective, frequently wayward, they collectively seek to recover the Great Goddess, and restore a sense of femininity and spirituality to our landscape, dotted with its long barrows and standing stones. In the process, Cope introduces imaginative etymosophies [sic] and some wonderful chapter headings, such as "Why the Romans were so Heavy", and "Ur Indoors", while indulging his distaste for cities and his love of Roman-bashing, for their corruption of collective folk memory, and the straightness of their roads. Cope's own infectious vision is, understandably, more circular, if not exactly rounded. It would be easy to mock, with its amateur snaps (sometimes including a variously coiffed Cope or family, for scale, one presumes), and homespun New Age philosophy. However, Book Two, a rainbow-indexed gazetteer to over 300 prehistoric sites in Britain, is tremendous. Each entry combines a photograph, Ordnance Survey directions, a paragraph of geo-historical significance, and a personal observational note of Cope's. Occasional poetry surfaces--"Atop Knap Hill I eat my snot/For 'tis the only food I got"--but generally the absurdities are kept at bay, as St Julian leads us on a pilgrimage. There are even charming guidelines for those who use the gazetteer properly, including the invaluable tip to keep a plastic bag down your sock to collect rubbish in (Julian does). Splendidly eccentric, impossible not to enjoy, and as much a map of the errant genius of Cope as the land with which he so passionately communes. --David Vincent

Review

'Utterly unique…opens a real window on Britain's prehistory.' The Times

'A unique blend of information, observation, personal experience and opinion… A strange and marvellous artefact.' The Independent

'Not only a joy, but a useful field guide.' The Guardian

'Immensely detailed and sumptuously illustrated…an essential guide' The Daily Telegraph

‘A remarkable fusion of scholarship, practical advice and visionary insight’ Daily Express

'A sumptuous technicolour delight. Erudite, playful and provocative.' Mojo

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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