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These three books were the assigned texts for a class I took in Celtic Studies while in college.
Thanks for that. I have read The Mabinogion, but am now reading the Sioned Davies translation. Early Irish Myths and Sagas is next on my list, after The Táin, so I guess I'm not far wrong?
As to the last book you mentioned, I've not encountered it before, but I will definitely have a look at it and see if I should add it to my "Wish List".
Sounds like you're right on track to me -- not that I'm an expert or anything!
Are you focussing on a specific geographic locale? on the languages and/or literature? the mythology? the history? In many respects the topic covers several cultures over a massive period of history.
For an overview of history I would specifically recommend Peter Berresford Ellis (touchstone is for the name under which he writes fiction - historcal novels).
hope this helps.
As to Peter Beresford Ellis, I've been told he is more reliable for studies of northern religions, rather than those of the Isles.
He is a prolific writer and might seem like he is dipping into the subject rather than writing in depth, he is also guilty of over-romanticising at times but that is quite common.
The history of the British Celtic nations is his speciality - do look him up for more information.
For example try
The Celtic Empire: The First Millennium of Celtic History 1000 BC - AD 51
Celtic Women: Women in Celtic Society and Literature
The Ancient World of the Celts
I enjoyed Alistair Moffat's The Sea Kingdoms which follows it through to modern times and should be easy to get hold of.
Also Recommended in terms of spirituality are:
L. McDonald 'Celtic Totem Animals' (Clan Dalraida. 1992)
H. McSkimming 'The Trees of the Celtic Alphabet' (Clan Dalraida. 1992)
Beware any books which claim a definitive picture of pre-christian religion - most of what we know comes from hostile or later sources. Much of modern pagan resources are based on nineteenth century folkloric research. History, archaeology and religious scholarship has changed since that period and whilst some of the ideas are important their historical background is mostly wishful thinking.
If you are trying to get the spirit of the thing; I recommend building a good historical picture looking at the laws and attitudes to each other and the symbolism and building your own picture.
Thank you for the recommendations. Do you have an opinion on The Making of a Druid: Hidden Teachings from the Colloquy of Two Sages?
I haven't read Ronald Hutton's Druids yet, I am reading his The Triumph of the Moon which is interesting and well researched so its on my list..
I have to admit I haven't read "The making of a druid" or even really stumbled across it so can't offer you an opinion. sorry.
Currently, I am reading Pagan Celtic Britain by Anne Ross (quite impressive so far as she gives opposing views for archaeological evidence rather than stating her opinion is correct and the archaeology backs it up.
I'm also reading Celtic Mythology: The Nature and influence of Celtic Myth, from Druidism to Arthurian Legend, The Four Branches of the Mabinogi by Sioned Davies in conjunction with her marvellous translation of The Mabinogion itself.
I am keen to get started on the Irish works and I keep looking at the cover of The Táin with anticipatory excitement.