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A Brief History of Stonehenge (Brief…

A Brief History of Stonehenge (Brief Histories) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Aubrey Burl (Author)

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802220,921 (3.35)11
Title:A Brief History of Stonehenge (Brief Histories)
Authors:Aubrey Burl (Author)
Info:Robinson (2007), Edition: UK ed., 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Brief History of Stonehenge: One of the Most Famous Ancient Monuments in Britain by Aubrey Burl (2006)



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I found this a dry but interesting book, which brought together the history and many of the theories on the circle. I thought the biggest shortfall was the lack of diagrams and/or drawings showing what he was talking about. He had lots of old diagrams, from early archaeologists, but without the numbering or the comprehensive view that he tries to explain. ( )
  lsg | Sep 28, 2008 |
Bit dull and technical in many places. The historical chapters were the best, but did seem to repeat a fair bit of material. I thought the author's theory about taking the origins of Celtic words back to derive the language of Stonehenge's builders was a bit far fetched. There also seemed to be some errors, e.g. in the facing of long barrows, where the table on p99 does not match the plan on p96. On the other hand, the author is convincing in showing that the bluestones were not transported from south Wales, as has been believed for the last 80 or more years. All in all, disappointing. ( )
  john257hopper | Aug 16, 2008 |
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At the same time I have not scrupled to indulge in certain speculations of a kind which my more austere colleagues may well reprehend, upon the possible significance and interpretation of many aspects of Stonehenge where the evidence will not bear the full weight of certainty. Silence upon such questions is too frequently justified by an appeal to the strict canons of archaeological evidence, when in fact it merely serves to conceal a lack of imagination.

                      Richard Atkinson, Stonehenge (1956),
                                             p. xiv; (1979), p. 23.
Dedicated to the memory
of Richard John Copeland Atkinson, 1920-1994, archaeologist,
scholar, authority on Stonehenge, my external examiner,
then mentor, and for many years a friend.
First words
The Challenge

     So many gods, so many creeds,
     So many paths that wind and wind.

                            Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 'The World's
                            Need', from Poems of Power (1901)

Every day people come to Stonehenge, sometimes in hundreds, frequently in thousands. Outside the rope barrier they look at the stones, wonder, listen attentively to their audio-guides, and still leave asking the same question as Byron did 200 years earlier: 'What the devil is it?'
Some Questions

      The next day took another short tour to the hills, to see that
     celebrated peice of antiquity, the wonderful Stone-Henge
                      Daniel Defoe, A Tour Through the Whole
                      Island of Great Britain
, Letter 3, (1724).

The best way to approach Stonehenge is not the direct but dispiriting one of the car park, the ticket office and the drab underpass. Instead, stroll across the downs to the circle.
Chapter I:
Antiquarians: Recovering
Stonehenge: To A.S. 1900

     The island was Britain 'and [as Oldcastle wrote] "the sacred
     precinct" of Apollo would be the famous Stone Age remains of

                                   Oldfather (1929), p. 37n.

                         Monastic writings
                    and medieval myth-making

Stonehenge entered written history in AD 1129 when it was mentioned in the first edition of Henry of Huntingdon's Historia Anglorum (The History of England) as the Second Wonder of Britain — Secundum est apud Stanhenge.1
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786719648, Paperback)

Britain's leading expert on stone circles brings new insights to this accessible exploration if the greatest stone circle of them all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

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