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Stonehenge (Wonders of the World (Harvard University Press)) Hardcover – December 15, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Many books seek to tell “the truth about Stonehenge,” ranging from exact measurements of its various stones to theories about its original use. Hill’s is less concerned with some inarguable truth than with the history of various interpretations of Stonehenge. So what if historical evidence absolutely disproves the idea that the famous circle of stones is a druidic site, since it was built several millennia before the Celts with their druid priests arrived on British shores? For several hundred years, people have believed that Stonehenge is connected to the druids, so ardently that public outcry eventually drove the government, which had closed the monument to keep it from vandalism and other deterioration, reopened it for latter-day druidic ceremonies on the summer solstice. Such is the power of the most popular understanding of Stonehenge. Readable and well-researched, this is an excellent primer on that and the other, varying ways that people have interpreted the enigmatic and iconographic arrangement of stones, ranging from theater for human sacrifice to “carhenge” and other ironic re-creations. --Patricia Monaghan

Review

[A] witty, erudite book...[Hill's] book is a treasure: stylish, thoughtful, miraculously condensed, and as full of knowledge as a megalith is full of megalith.
--John Carey (Sunday Times 2008-06-08)

For several hundred years, people have believed that Stonehenge is connected to the druids, so ardently that public outcry eventually drove the government, which had closed the monument to keep it from vandalism and other deterioration, reopened it for latter-day druidic ceremonies on the summer solstice. Such is the power of the most popular understanding of Stonehenge. Readable and well-researched, this is an excellent primer on that and the other varying ways that people have interpreted the enigmatic and iconographic arrangement of stones, ranging from theater for human sacrifice to "carhenge" and other ironic re-creations.
--Patricia Monaghan (Booklist 2008-11-01)
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Product Details

  • Series: Wonders of the World (Harvard University Press)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 56342nd edition (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674031326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674031326
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,576,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It pays to read the reviews! This book was well written and enjoyable, but not quite what I was looking for. I was hoping for a more scholarly treatise on the people, construction methods, times, beliefs etc over the period when Stonehenge was developed and in active use. This book covers that in some detail, but the main focus is post that era - the different interpretations of Stonehenge and what it means, particularly as seen over the last 500 years. Still, a worthwhile and enlightening read covering a subject that has had wildly disparate views, some scientific, some esoteric and many just way out there. The author also covers the very unfortunate story of the harsh treatment and disrespect this awesome place has suffered over the last century in particular. Hopefully "the Authorities" will eventually get it right.

Bonus - good to see the many photos and illustrations have carried across to the Kindle format in fine form.
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Format: Hardcover
Look no further - this is it. 'Stonehenge' is the perfect Christmas present. It's brilliantly written, incredibly interesting (Stonehenge took 70 generations to build!?!), the book appeals to all ages, it's not too long, not too big, not expensive, besides we all feel passionate about Stonehenge as it's a vital part of our heritage. Don't forget to buy a copy of this wonderful book for yourself.
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By D. Jester on January 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really nice little book. Good primer on StoneHenge, the book is well bound and well thought out. As the author mentions early on, it is not intended to be an all encompassing text on the subject, for that, you probably need to consider larger books, or even multiple volumes. But, if you want to know enough about StoneHenge to speak intelligently on the subject, and without putting in excessive time reading a lot of in depth material, this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book was utter torture to read. i was completely confused by it. this is great if you are a scholar or some sort of genious but if you are trying to do a simple project on Only stonehenge this is not the book for you. the only thing harder than reading the book is trying to summarize it when you hardly understood it. i now need to summarize this book. great.
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