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Celtic Lore: The History of the Druids and Their Timeless Traditions Paperback – May, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons Pub; First Edition edition (May 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855381346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855381346
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An exploration of the history of the Druids, their origin among the Indo-European shamans, and the metamorphosis of their culture through the centuries.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Wallace on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
If this was written in the 1920s, I could understand it. But 1993? Well, basically, don't take a book seriously if it uses "The Golden Bough" as support. Or Loomis and Tolstoy, for that matter. It's not that they didn't contribute some important things, but that was 70 years before this book was written, and let's just say scholarship has gone beyond them.

This is a book that actually suggests that the incident of the Joy of the Court in the Erec and Enid tales is evidence of a secret, druidic cult which, naturally, is linked to the Knights Templar. Apparently, the "inexplicable" Joy of the Court is code put in by Chretien de Troyes because...well, Rutherford doesn't really say why. Royal connections to witchcraft, maybe. Now that's some cracking good literary analysis right there. I had just thought it was to illustrate retroactively why Erec and Enide should not stay isolated, but no. Vast underground conspiracy for unknown purposes.

He works way too hard to come up with these bizarre, tortured arguments, and never really bothers to explain them. One of my favorite passages is "Bran is not only defeated, he has been wounded with a poisoned spear. Though, according to the text, this was in the foot, it was more probably in the testicles." I know last time my boyfriend was wounded in the testicles he totally thought it was his foot. Seriously, what? The author wants him to be the Fisher King so he magically is? Is this in a hypothetical earlier version, or is Rutherford arguing that the REAL Bran was wounded in the testicles? I'd look to the text for the answer, but dang it, it's just not there.

This book has all the coherence and scholarship of a manifesto found in the basement of a spree shooter, and a little more paranoia. Don't waste your money on it. If you want to read about the Celts, try some Berresford Ellis or Tymczko.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 1997
Format: Paperback
Apart from one or two obvious publisher (rather than author) errors (like AD for an obvious BCE date) I could rarely find fault with this volume. For a short, readable, well-organised book on the Druids and their effects upon Celtic, Greek and Roman civilisations, this is hard to beat
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ruhani (ruhani@mpinet.net) on January 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a good read and gives wonderful background information on the Celts and Druids. One of the first books I have read that actually gives more history on where the Celts came from and how they impacted others.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
One more anti-Hellenic (in it's elements) effort to idealize something beautiful, yet not perfect of a cultural phenomenon. Though i study Keltic civilization, Druidry and history for some 20 years, I can also read ancient texts from the original (MSc). Mr Rutherford obviously loves his forefathers and their culture, but instead of describing the REAL events he constantly compares to the Greeks; and he does so in a very unjust and awkward manner. For example, he starts by accounting the Keltic raid to Greece (Aellas) in 279 B.C. He exagerates the Kelts battling efficiency on the specific incidence and when he refers to their defeat he attributes it to the fact that they were not used in fighting in Winter conditions!!! ... And he finishes the book by noting "the Celts sojourn in Delfi was brief, but they had the last laugh" (p. 208)!
Here too one can witness this all the more to encounter tactic of downplaying the role and status of Ancient Greece in order to raise the one of another. Cyril Mango did it, Peter Kingsley did it, so why not? But in order to do so you have to have support from the texts and, like Mr Rutherford, all these gentlemen lack it. ...visit the actual place of the last battle at Kokkalia ('bones', archaeological site) that took it's name by the fact that the Kelts were all killed to the last and even today you can see the glimmering of phosphorus at night. [By the way, it is Kelts, not Celts, since in the texts they are first referred to -by the Greeks again- as 'Keltoi'. Or AT LAST, has anybody ever thought that Ogmios and Ogham take their name from ancient Greek 'ogmos' and 'ogmevo' which means 'furrow', 'score' or 'slash'?
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