March 10, 2015
496 pages, 5 1/8 x 7 3/4
103 b/w illus.
Setting forth a chronological narrative, Hutton along the way makes side visits to explore specific locations of ancient pagan activity. He includes the well-known sacred sites—Stonehenge, Avebury, Seahenge, Maiden Castle, Anglesey—as well as more obscure locations across the mainland and coastal islands. In tireless pursuit of the elusive “why” of pagan behavior, Hutton astonishes with the breadth of his understanding of Britain’s deep past and inspires with the originality of his insights.
“Any book from Ronald Hutton is something of an event, and his newest, Pagan Britain is as rigorous a guide to this disputed territory as you’ll get. His scholarship is honest and cuts through the sheer nuttiness that invests the subject.”—Melanie McDonagh, The Tablet
“Lively and bang up-to-date, this is a must-read for anyone remotely interested in the subject.”—Trevor Heaton, Eastern Daily Press
“This is an expedition into deep time: a meticulous critical review of the known and sometimes shadowy rituals and beliefs in the British Isles from early prehistory to the advent of Christianity. . .Ronald Hutton brings the discussion alive with detail and debate. . .offer[ing] a visceral experience of the remarkable and often enigmatic evidence for ancient beliefs, rituals and practices in the British Isles.”—Sarah Semple, Times Higher Education Supplement
“It’s a superb piece of work and beautifully written, too. . .a deeply rooted, or grounded, book, which sets religious and spiritual beliefs in their social context. To my mind it is just the sort of book one should read before visiting the newly made-over Stonehenge.”—Francis Pryor