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Witches, Druids and King Arthur

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
By the author of 'Stations in the Sun' and 'The Triumph of the Moon', in which Ronald Hutton established himself as a leading authority on the history of paganism, this title contains his essays which cover a wide range of beliefs, myths and practices, also on the subject of paganism.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 15th 2006 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published 2003)
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Steve Cran
Witches,Druids and King Arthur
Ronald Hutton,St Martin's Press
2003

Ronald Hutton is a scholar who cuts through all the crap and gets straight to the truth. He doesn't mess around and he does not have time for biases. Most noted for his study of modern witchcraft in book "Triumph of the Moon" Ronald Hutton has drafted a book that is really a compilation of different essays on different subjects that are pertinent facets of modern paganism. This book is easily read and scholarly at the same time whi
...more
Mary Catelli
A collection of essays on various topic -- of various interest, too.

I liked the one on ritual nudity best. He tracks down what can be learned and established three widespread practices: among people taking on the roles of supernatural and liminal beings, and among those being initiated, are the real ones, and a folkloric one is so widespread -- Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas -- that he mentions that witches, people who work evil magic, do so naked, so representing their evil, antisocial natu
...more
Laurence O'Bryan
Aug 09, 2011 Laurence O'Bryan rated it liked it
Interesting observations about the development of myths and how we see things that don't exist yet refuse to see things that do.

The myth of King Arthur is one example. The history of this myth swings from acceptance to denial based on influencing factors at any particular time.

Well worth reading, though I'm making slow progress with all the other books on my shelf.
Kari
Jul 10, 2011 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting set of essays, some of which expand on topics previously researched in his books and some of which appear to introduce new topics e.g. druidism, which he has since published work on. It is worth reading just for the last essay 'Living with Witchcraft', which for anyone who has read Triumph of the Moon is a must read. He talks about the experiences both positive and negative that he encountered when writing the book and it is almost with astonishment that you read about the s ...more
Candy Wood
The first three chapters of this book, focusing on the making of myth and then the examples of King Arthur and Glastonbury, were the most interesting ones for me. In other essays Hutton includes a wealth of detail about topics like the relationship between ancient and modern Paganism and the distinction between religion and magic. Sloppy proofreading did detract from the quality: a list of features of Egyptian ritual magic has two labeled "A seventh," for example. All in all, Hutton provides a f ...more
Stephanie Stewart-Howard
Jul 18, 2013 Stephanie Stewart-Howard rated it really liked it
Truly enjoyed this series of essays about the origins of British folklore - more good stuff from the author of Stations of the Sun and The Rise and Fall of Merry England. A great look at how "common knowledge" events are made, even in the space of a little time, that endure even though the stories have no basis in events that actually happen (things like science denial and so on) - very helpful in understanding the modern world as well as the world of folk history.
Palma
Jul 27, 2012 Palma added it
Like most of his books, they are filed with well researched data but I find they can get a bit heavy reading and can be boring at times.
Bianca Bradley
Jul 24, 2013 Bianca Bradley rated it it was amazing
This is a continuation of Triumpf of the moon. Very interesting.
Erin Horáková
Jul 06, 2016 Erin Horáková marked it as to-read
START WITH THIS ONE, OF THE HUTTONS
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Ronald Hutton (born 1953) is an English historian who specializes in the study of Early Modern Britain, British folklore, pre-Christian religion and contemporary Paganism. A professor of history at the University of Bristol, Hutton has published fourteen books and has appeared on British television and radio.
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