- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (28 Jun. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192854488
- ISBN-13: 978-0192854483
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.6 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Stations Of The Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain Paperback – 28 Jun 2001
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a fascinating volume, which any future study of calendar rituals - or of 'pagan residues' in popular culture - will have to take into account. (Margaret Cormack, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies, 2000.)
Students of religion will be impressed by the ample evidence the book provides, not for the survival of pagan religious practices in a Christian era, but for the survival of Catholic practices in a Protestant one. (Margaret Cormack, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies, 2000.)
Well produced and written in a pleasing style, it is a rich source of information about late-medieval calendar customs whose scope extends far beyond the Middle Ages. Stations of the Sun belongs in the reference collection of any college library. (Margaret Cormack, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies, 2000.)
a tour de force from one of the liveliest and most wide-ranging of practising English historians this unfailingly stimulating, learned and engaging book places a relatively neglected aspect of English social history firmly on the map. (Eamon Duffy, TLS)
About the Author
Ronald Hutton is Reader in History at the University of Bristol.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have had the good fortune to be in the authors company on many occasions, and found him to be a wonderful and spiritual person, as well as being a learned and respected professor, which is why I first bought his work !
I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in history, culture, early religions, the wheel of our year, or ancient Pagan Britain.
I suspect that my collection of Hutton's work will expand with each new release - Stations of the Sun is a barrow filled with riches!!!
At the outset I had hoped for a more 'traditionally' pagan account of the ancient seasonal festivals, their origins and meanings.
I was initially surprised and eventually delighted to find however that although this work is more of an Academic compote of facts and dates and included ongoing assessment of earlier authors often unfounded but sometimes inspirational conjecture than I had anticipated (of Sir James Frazer et al) nevertheless this is a very enjoyable, remarkably researched and admirably objective book-collection of essays.
That much of this morass concerns the developments and impacts of constantly changing traditions due to Christian Reformation and Counter Reformation (certainly comedic at this distance in time), the ongoing process a seminal crucible (reminding me of both grail and cauldron) proved revealing, as the general view of folk traditions and their origins seems to usually favor the more arcane sources, this book by contrast documents only definite evidence, largely that of written records, of church, kirk and council across the land.
With a nod to the Scandinavian Yuil, as well as the Roman Kalendae, we embark on an exploration of the traditions of Christmastide, the Twelve Days, the Rites of Celebration, Purification and of Charity which included the remarkable Clementing, Elementing and Souling, even Thomasing, Gooding, Mumping and Corning (as well as more)regional begging customs, by which means the poor would recant rhymes for contribution of food for a feast of their own.Read more ›
Thoroughly researched, this is a must read for anyone interested in British history, and very revealing in what large numbers of annual festivals and rituals we have lost forever. In particular, see here just how deeply the Reformation changed British society - it went far, far beyond the dissolution of the monasteries you learn about in school. In many cases we should be truly thankful to have lost them. For example you might think that the once a year kid's Trick or Treat is a pain, but just read here what a huge number of ritualised begging days, with potential consequent nastiness if you didn't cough up, which our ancestors had to put up with. Also, the animal cruelty beggars belief - killing wrens to display on a stick at Christmas, tying up birds to kill by throwing clubs at them and tossing cats in the air at Shrovetide, and so on.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read, but the small print does make reading tiresome if you have eyesight issues.Published 23 days ago by Stevie
A great book from an authority in his field, which explores the traditional rites and customs of the British year. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wendy
A treasure trove of information about the origins and developments of rituals and community festivals.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really love this book. I bought it in the hopes that it would cover pagan and pre-Christian religious rituals, but was sadly disappointed. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Book Gannet
Content informative and enlightening. Printed on poor quality paper. Typeface too small and cramped on page. 4 stars for content.Published 22 months ago by MICHAEL L.
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