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Blood and Mistletoe: a history of the Druids in Britain, By Ronald Hutton – Reviews, Books – The Independent

15 May

Blood and Mistletoe is not so much a history of the Druids in Britain as a history of how the Druids have been endlessly re-visioned by people with different preconceptions, prejudices and agendas in the changing cultures of England, Scotland and Wales. Like much of Ronald Huttons work, it is a study in reflexivity: “why it is that we see our subjects of study in the way in which we do”.

Hutton is a professor of history at Bristol University, and Blood and Mistletoe is his second crack at this subject, a companion to The Druids. That was written for a popular market; this is academic and more than three times the length, though still very readable.

There is little raw material on the Druids, most from the classical histories of Julius Caesar, Strabo, Tacitus and Pliny. Some of this “may be wildly inaccurate and some accurate in the last detail”; without knowing their sources, theres no way of telling.

via Blood and Mistletoe: a history of the Druids in Britain, By Ronald Hutton – Reviews, Books – The Independent.

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