Anne Ross is a well-respected writer on the Celts most of her books are on the Celtic Reconstructionist lists and that tells you a lot because as a rule they are very picky. This book is a part of a series called Everyday Life Of…The other two books in the series are The Everyday Life of the Vikings, and The Everyday Life of the Anglo-Saxons.
The book is copy righted to 1970 so right off you know it is an old book, with outdated information, though not much of it is. People who are not new to the Celtic history will probably not find anything new in this book. What impressed me though is the fact that she not only talks about the history of the Celts but their culture, society, and religion too. She starts her survey when the Celts first burst onto the scene, and ends it at 500 CE. Up front she tells you the limitations of the book and the aim she hopes to achieve with it. The limitations are as follows: limitations in the evidence available (this of course has changed from the 1970s to now), and limitations of space. The aim of the book is to find out something about the pagan Celtic world; about its origin; about the people who lived in it, what they did and how they conducted their day-to-day affairs.
Like all other writers on the subject of the Celts she starts her book with how we know about the Celts. She discusses the sources, which ones are good, which are bad, and which are acceptable and how to combine them all to get a good picture of the Celts.
Then comes the substance. She starts out with the structure of the society, how they looked, what they wore, their weapons and the way they conducted warfare, their roads, fortifications, houses, the games they played, their music and entertainment, their food and drink, their laws, their religion, and their artistic styles.
I loved all the details she provided for things that most scholars would have over looked like what they wore, and what they might have ate or drank. It is a well-rounded book. And it has it all. You learn exactly what the Celts have done in their everyday life, in war, and what they did for entertainment or for their worship. You learn about their art and music, and it provides a vivid picture that you can carry of the people you want to study.
I highly recommend it.