The Druids

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Hambledon Continuum, 2007 - History - 240 pages
2 Reviews
Ronald Hutton's latest book is the first comprehensive study of what people have thought about the ancient Druids and why. Written in a racy and accesible style it is essential reading for everyone interested in exploring our mysterious past. Most books written on the Druids hitherto have been by archaeologists specialising in the Iron Age, who have occupied a great deal of space trying to find things to say about the 'original' ancient priesthood. Most have then devoted a final section of their books to people who have called themselves Druids since 1700 - until recently with contemptuous dismissal. Hutton's contention is that the sources for the ancient Druids are so few and unreliable that almost nothing certain can be said about them. Instead he reverses the traditional balance of interest to look at the many ways in which Druids have been imagined in Britain since 1500, and what this tells us about modern and early modern society. In the process he achieves many new insights into the development of British national identities, established and 'alternative' religions, literary culture, fraternal organisation and protest movements. He also suggests new ways in which the discipline of archaeology can be perceived - which will delight some practitioners and enrage others.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

I expected "The Druids: A History" to be a history of the druids. Silly me. It turns out that this book is actually about how society has considered the druids over the last 500 years or so; showing ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PirateJenny - LibraryThing

This is apparently the first of two books on the subject to be written by Hutton and the more accessible, less scholarly version. Seems Hutton has been getting lots of letters from people who want to ... Read full review


The Wise Druids
The Green Druids
The Demonic Druids

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About the author (2007)

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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