Druids: Preachers of Immortalityby Anne Ross
Synopsis: Druidism was the religion of the Celts and the Druids themselves were all-powerful, taking precedence over the Celtic kings. Over and above the evidence of classical texts and of archeology, the richest source of information about the Druids is the vernacular material from Ireland and Wales. It is the author’s unparalleled familiarity with the Gaelic texts, and her ability to see Druidism through Celtic eyes, that marks out this study from earlier books and strips away modern myths about the Druids.
Review: This is not about “preachers” of any kind, and the ideas of immortality is barely mentioned in this book. It is, however, a great study of the Druids, using folklore, archeology, and classical and vernacular sources. The author is clearly deeply fascinated with the topic and offers a wide range of original insights into various Celtic topics. Some of her insights are deeply fascinating.
I did feel though that the author was trying to write this book for the layman and because of her extensive scholarly background in the subject she failed miserably. It was a hard read mainly because I wanted her to go back to her old style of writing. I was, however, very impressed with Dr. Ross’ research into the subject which is quite evident as the reader moves through the chapters.
I have yet to find a book that discusses the Druids in this sort of detail so the book is very much worth the read, if only for the sources she sites and some of the gems she has uncovered. The book of course is outdated in some aspects of its research but that is to be expected since it was first written in 1999.