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Thread: Celts 2015

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    Celts 2015

    As it is an open secret that I'm working on a book on the Celts, I thought people might like a bit of background.

    The British Museum is to open a big exhibition on the Celts in September 2015. Publishers and broadcasters with their ears to the ground have been getting in gear for this. I hear on the grapevine that there will be a television series on the Celts next year, probably with related book. I imagine that the museum will have a book in the works to go with the exhibition, but am not sure.

    Alex Woolf, A Short History of the Celts (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) is due out on 30 March 2015. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Short-Histor...dp/1848857942/

    So it should be a bumper year for those interested in the Celts.

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    This is a rather interesting line in the blurb for Woolf's book:

    He traces the Celts' development from their beginnings to their seventh-century nadir, when they ceased to be a single community.
    It's probably unfair to jump on things before the actual publication, but what on earth does that mean? When were the Celts ever "a single community?"

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    Well, one can certainly study the "Celts" as a cultural/archaeological horizon that has multiple distinct communities without losing sight of the linguistic and mythological features that make them understandable as a whole. And one is not hard pressed to find examples that survive into later times even if they are largely peripheral and/or reconstructed as aura.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Mc View Post
    It's probably unfair to jump on things before the actual publication, but what on earth does that mean? When were the Celts ever "a single community?"
    I know. Very odd. But then the whole blurb reads like it was written by a publicist, rather than the author. Presumably the reference is to the Anglo-Saxon push westwards and northwards within Britain which divided what had been one long stretch of Brittonic-speaking territory (with Gaelic to the north of it) into separate enclaves: Highland Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.
    Last edited by Jean M; 11-02-2014 at 03:28 AM.

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    It would sound like he's talking specifically about Brythonic speaking area, if anything in the 7th century Ireland was coalescing into a single identity/ethnos (but with obviously separate lordships/kingdoms with notional idea of high-kingship) due to influence of christianity.
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    Sounds like a good time to publish Jean!

    Even though I don't have any known Celtic background, I will certainly go and see the exhibition.

    Cheers, Ade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubhthach View Post
    It would sound like he's talking specifically about Brythonic speaking area, if anything in the 7th century Ireland was coalescing into a single identity/ethnos (but with obviously separate lordships/kingdoms with notional idea of high-kingship) due to influence of christianity.
    I imagine Woolf used a phrase like 'linguistic community'. Post-Roman Britannia seems to have broken up fairly soon into kingdoms based on the former civitates. Certainly before the A-S push west and north. Blurb-writers will seize on the most colourful bits of text and strip them of all scholarly qualifications.
    Last edited by Jean M; 11-02-2014 at 10:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    Sounds like a good time to publish Jean!
    That's exactly what my publisher thought. He commissioned a book from me that I hadn't thought of writing! I have enjoyed it though. My interest in the Celts is of long standing.

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    I just hope folks like John Collis and Simon James are not involved. If they are, all we'll hear about is how the Celts really never existed, and, if they did, the Celts in the Isles weren't really Celts, blah, blah, blah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    I just hope folks like John Collis and Simon James are not involved. If they are, all we'll hear about is how the Celts really never existed, and, if they did, the Celts in the Isles weren't really Celts, blah, blah, blah.
    I can't see the British Museum not including its own Celtic treasures from Britain. "The Snettisham Great Torc, Basse-Yutz Flagons and Battersea Shield are stunning examples of Early Celtic art." http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore.../iron_age.aspx

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