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The World of the Druids

by Miranda J. Green, Miranda J. Aldhouse-Green

Buy the book: Miranda J. Green. The World of the Druids

Release Date: June, 1997

Edition: Hardcover


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Buy the book: Miranda J. Green. The World of the Druids

A very basic introduction

Green's World of the Druids looks at various sources of information about the ancient Druids, including archeology, history, folklore, and classical sources. She relays more recent discoveries, explains the origins of the Druids, their role in society, religion, prophesy and a sacrafice. And, Green takes a look at Druids in the modern day.

This is a reasonably good introductory book on the Druids. It does tend to brush over some areas without as much detail as some other books in an effort to appear "credible," thus fresh ideas are somewhat lacking. For those looking for more of an introduction to Druid history, this more abridged (scaled down) work is a bit easier than many other texts, but it may not serve as well for those with a more solid grasp of Druidry and Celtic studies. I personally find much of Miranda Green's work simply reiterates what is already commonly written by other authors, and I don't get much new out of her work, which is a shame given her enjoyable writing style.

Discussion & analysis of Celtic mythology is relatively light, especially that from Non-Irish sources, but her accounts and interpretation are considered standard by many. Her account on women in Celtic Society, and as female Seers and Druidesses, (she gives them an entire chapter) is somewhat refreshing.

My only other complaint would be in her description of modern-day Druids all being Neo-Druids, and her promotion of a "shared perception" between Druids and Wiccans. While they are quoted as being "separate and distinct," the focus on Wiccan beliefs, rituals and coven membership seemed unnecessary in a more scholary book. I found it sad that the author felt the need to promote witchcraft in the form of Wicca, yet made no mention of Celtic witchcraft or magic, and 'shamanic' practices (for lack of a better term), which is laden throughout Celtic folklore, scarcely got a paragraph's mention, next to the five pages she dedicated to Wicca.

Mostly minor complaints aside, all in all, this is a good general book on Druidry, but I would recommend comparing it to other, more detailed works, to fill in those areas where detail isn't as deep as it should be, comments are light, and varying interpretations are needed. This book also does not hold up to her work on the Celts in general (The Celtic World), but it's still reasonably good. Just be sure to compare her offerings to that of others like Anne Ross, Alwyn & Brinley Rees, Nora Chadwick and Peter Berresford Ellis, for a wider range of understanding and viewpoints on the Druids, and the Celts in General.

From Amazon.com

Ideal introduction to the subject of druids past and present

Do you have an interest in the druids past and present? Do you want to know the facts, not someone's romanticized version of them? Then this book is what you are looking for. Dr. Green presents the evidence with accuracy and sensitivity, describing what is known about the druids before the coming of Christianity (which is actually very little), the evidence of the medieval tales and saints' lives (which is suspect), and the efforts to revive "druidry" since the Renaissance. The illustrations are carefully described, appropriate to the text, and beautifully reproduced. My only complaint is that Dr. Green's description of modern druids mainly covers groups in the UK, with little acknowledgement that groups exist worldwide. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this volume as an ideal introduction to the subject for yourself or as a gift.

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