From the twelve days of Christmas to the Spring traditions of Valentine, Shrovetide, and Easter eggs, through May Day revels and Midsummer fires, and on to the waning of the year, Harvest Home, and Hallowe en Ronald Hutton takes us on a fascinating journey through the ritual year in Britain His comprehensive study covers all the British Isles and the whole sweep of histoFrom the twelve days of Christmas to the Spring traditions of Valentine, Shrovetide, and Easter eggs, through May Day revels and Midsummer fires, and on to the waning of the year, Harvest Home, and Hallowe en Ronald Hutton takes us on a fascinating journey through the ritual year in Britain His comprehensive study covers all the British Isles and the whole sweep of history from the earliest written records to the present day Great and lesser, ancient and modern, Christian and pagan, all rituals are treated with the same attention The result is a colorful and absorbing history in which Ronald Hutton challenges many common assumptions about the customs of the past and the festivals of the present debunking many myths and illuminates the history of the calendar we live by.Stations of the Sun is the first complete scholarly work to cover the full span of British rituals, challenging the work of specialists from the late Victorian period onwards, reworking our picture of the field thoroughly, and raising issues for historians of every period.
The Stations of the Sun A History of the Ritual Year in Britain From the twelve days of Christmas to the Spring traditions of Valentine Shrovetide and Easter eggs through May Day revels and Midsummer fires and on to the waning of the year Harvest Home and Ha
As a dozen good reviews could not begin to provide a fair account of this book, I shall offer a few key points which caught my attention as introduction only.At the outset I had hoped for a traditionally pagan account of the ancient seasonal festivals, their origins and meanings.I was initially surprised and eventually delighted to find however that although this work is of an Academic compote of facts and dates and included ongoing assessment of earlier authors often unfounded but sometimes i [...]
The book is a scholarly survey of holidays in Britain, going in order from winter to spring This may sound incredibly dull, but it s not it s a fascinating study of customs we take for granted, exploding myths on practically every page There are some chapters where the exclamation of holy shit to paragraph ratio is dangerously close to 1 1, like the chapter on Christmas.Hutton, a professor of history at the University of Bristol in the UK who specializes in the English Civil War, has a simple me [...]
Marvellous A proper historical study of the age old folk traditions of Britain, most of which aren t actually all that old after all Useful ammunition for shutting up hippies and neo pagans who want to try and fool you into thinking that morris dancing goes all the way back to the stone age, or some other claptrap like what hippies and pagans tend to drone on about And if they still mither on make them read his book on wicca too.
Even today, the idea that many folk traditions and festivals are the remnants of some pagan pre Christian Celtic religion, transmogrified and surviving furtively in the countryside, has a peculiar potency What few people realise is how recent a notion that is and how much it relies on a particular handful of archaeologists, folklorists and historians writing at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, influenced by the growing cult of the countryside that began in the [...]
I really love this book I bought it in the hopes that it would cover pagan and pre Christian religious rituals, but was sadly disappointed However, what I found instead was a well written, excellently researched treasure trove of information about the social festivals of Britain mainly England, but there are some Scottish and Welsh celebrations too dating from around the thirteenth century right into the twentieth.Largely using parish records, Hutton does an excellent job of dating and locating [...]
Subtitled A History of the Ritual Year in Britain , this is a rather long and rambling yet scholarly look at popular and religious seasonal folk traditions in Great Britain Christmas, mummers, morris dancing, Lords of Misrule, Whitsun ales, Beltane, maypoles, gathering rushes, Robin Hood, Guy Fawkes, and much, much are examined as seen in all kinds of historical records from the late 1200 s to modern times It is an exhaustive and sometimes dry recital of weird customs full of sentences like Mar [...]
This man makes me squee spastically How I would love to pick his brain over drinks one day I ve barely cracked the book, and know it will take me delightful ages to get through, but he s so thorough and he backs everything up with proper documentation Oh I so wish that other authors in the vein of religious Wicca, pagan, especially would learn the value of honest research and FOOTNOTES
A pretty ripping account of holidays and their customs throughout Britain s history Hutton provides a lot of detail and he also takes the time to review many common misperceptions I sometimes wondered that it wouldn t be straightforward to have moved along by time period but he also makes clear why he didn t and it s still incredibly readable as it is To the point, Hutton is a lively writer and makes interesting even what might be otherwise dull I had initially hoped to read another of his book [...]
A great book from an authority in his field, which explores the traditional rites and customs of the British year Although Professor Hutton is a controversial figure in neo pagan circles, and clearly possesses a passionate fascination for the history of paganism and Wicca, he doesn t let this cloud his objective judgement He takes issue with the long held view that many of these traditions have deep roots in pre Christian paganism and highlights the lack of evidence for such a position, for exam [...]
This covers the mediaeval Early Modern ritual year in Britain, breaking down each celebration into its historical parts If you want to know the origins of Easter, Candlmas, Rogationtide and suchlike, this is the book for you.
Recommended for those who hate conventional wisdom That s a good enough rec for me
Marvellous Huge, mind But marvellous.
Dry, but fascinating.
It took me a while to read this as it is so packed with information, but it is a fascinating look at the ritual customs of the British Isles.
Dim and ill remembered shades of blood soaked pagan fertility rites suppressed by the Church, sanitised and repackaged for a Christian age attenuated echoes of a timeless, agrarian traditionalism surviving into the urban and rapidly industrialising present This was the vision of the folk customs and festivals of the British Isles as refracted through the prism of late Victorian and early twentieth century folklore and anthropology, disseminated and popularised by writers such as J.G Frazer and M [...]
nwhytevejournal 2044561ml return return A brilliant book which has been on my reading list for far too long Hutton looks thoroughly and critically at the records of ritual celebrations in England, Scotland and Wales over the centuries, and comes out with some very revisionist conclusions I had always assumed, for instance, that the Bonfire Night celebrations of 5 November were direct descendants of ancient Celtic Samhain ritual, shifted by a few days Hutton shows that in fact the evidence is tha [...]
I read some parts of this carefully, skimming some and skipping parts It s very well done and fascinating stuff The scholarship seems impeccable to me I m not a scholar per se, but on the other hand I do work in academia I value careful scholarship, and this seems like the genuine article A required reference for anyone interested in the ancient origins of certain holidays and customs You ll learn what is known and what is unknown, according to the current research, and the author also delineate [...]
A very thorough investigation of the origins of holidays in the English world Hutton places an emphasis on the relationship between pre Christian pagan festivals and the later ecclesiastical calender From time to time he reveals a minor bias in favor of the pagan themes and ideals, but he is refreshingly restrained when it comes to any attempt to force them upon their supposed Christian counterparts He explains that the actual connection is minor at best with many correlations being accidental T [...]
This is such a dense text that I still haven t made my way through it after several months, not for lack of trying The information is interesting, but the book has no pull to it beyond the facts themselves I feel like a Bill Bryson could have taken the same information and made it engaging and readable Instead this is the literary equivalent of baklava sweet, heavy, and you can t finish your whole slice Mind you, I m sure plenty of people LOVE baklava and force down every last bite, which is pro [...]
The most reference heavy and therefore the most useful of Hutton s books, at least to me Very helpful insights into the nature of folklore and the speed with which it changes.
Informative and fascinating.