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Nds and battles of a people whose past stretches back many hundred of years The Sea Kingdoms is a story of great tragedies ancient myths and spectacular beaut. This is the third book by Alistair Moffat that I ve read and as you d guess given the fact that I ve kept reading him I ve enjoyed them all The Sea Kingdoms is an attempt at a history of Celtic Britain and Ireland but by the nature of the subject and the sources it s a series of impressions and snapshots places events people all serving to illuminate some aspect of the other history of these islands the history that has never been written but has been sung recited felt It s as much a geography as a history or a story of how the two interweave in the language and culture of a people acutely aware of the beauty and awe of their land But being united by the sea the sea has also washed much away leaving traces in the sand but only impressions where there was once much It s unlikely that even the best efforts of archaeologists will retrieve much and the history of the Celts like the people is bathed in the westering sun setting in the circle sea

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The Sea Kingdoms The History of Celtic Britain and Ireland

Alistair Moffat's journey from the Scottish islands and Scotland to the English coast Wales Cornwall and Ireland ignores national boundaries to reveal the ric. This was a very interesting book written from a passionate perspective which was both good and bad The author is clearly biased and insists on a few incidents that are historically contested but the overall content is great It s a development of Celtic people in the British isles I was personally interested in the pre roman phase but there is much medieval and modern content still interesting There s stuff about folklore navigation politics religion conversion to Christianity etc My favorite insights wereI finally understood the tension between Wales Scotland and England and I finally know what s the deal with Ireland and UK I honestly did not knowIn the folklore and arts area the myths storytelling and pagan beliefs were fascinating I can t get the ghost fences out of my head plus the idea of the Celtic Otherworld Worship of wells and use of cauldrons reminded me of the sacred use of cauldrons in Ancient China I will look into that afterwards I read the Mabinogion before this book and things made sense now even though my Mabinogion edition was heavily annotated I also remembered some Irish myths I had been reading but had gotten a bit tedious due to all the formulas and repetitions Now I had never thought about it but Alistair Moffat reminds you that these stories were constructed orally for oral retelling and the repetitions and formulas were crucial for memorization We do not give these ancient stories enough credit sometimes In shortI really enjoyed the insight to this pagan world of this ancient environment where the stories I love could arise naturally I recommended this book to anyone interested in cultural works from this ancient Celtic territories

Alistair Moffat Ü 7 Review

H fabric of culture and history of Celtic Britain which still survives today This is a vividly told dramatic and enlightening account of the oral history lege. This is a difficult book to review I find I love the fact that someone was so into the Celtic history of the UK that they went around researching and visiting all the out of the way forgotten kingdoms fading languages strange customs and half forgotten stories The combined stories are beautifully told in a writing style that I found flowed admirably The amount of work that went into compiling this book is formidableSo the above elements of the book were absolutely riveting It provided a lot of information about the Celtic history of the UK which to my mind is the most interesting part of the old history and I certainly feel I know about that than I did before However by the last third of the book I started to be aware of the very strong agenda that the author has There are omissions that even I with little knowledge of the matters discussed could see and did not understand This awareness means that I found myself forced to take a lot of the bald assentations this book makes with a grain of salt not a bad thing to do with any history really I suppose but it is a shame the agenda is so strong that it made me cautious of the factsAlso I found the first half or possibly even third to be the most interesting and the only part that actually reflects the title My interest in this book was captured primarily because of the sea kingdoms theme and it is strong relevant and very readable in the first part of the book The later part is very much Scottish and much related to the Highlands than anything else While it was interesting and much of it totally new to me I was sad to have left the sea so far behind that it was not mentioned for chapters at a time and had little relevance to the stories being told


10 thoughts on “The Sea Kingdoms The History of Celtic Britain and Ireland

  1. says:

    To those of you who watch tvyou know those days when you are flicking tv channels and you come across a documentary and it is so atmospheric that before you realise it you have sat uietly staring at the screen like a zombie for an hour or Only speaking when you feel the need to say 'wow' as you learn some amazing tidbit about history or anim

  2. says:

    This was a very interesting book written from a passionate perspective which was both good and bad The author is clearly biased and insists on a few incidents that are historically contested but the overall conte

  3. says:

    A very enjoyable read even if the size of the print is a strain on my old eyes Alistair Moffat's 'The Sea Kingdoms' is a powerful historical odyssey to strange distant lands that our modern day map books cannot name It's a Homeric journey from iron age to space age through the Celtic islands of Britain and Ireland The book is packed with a fascinating range of information that encompasses the histories languag

  4. says:

    Poignant in every sense epicA fascinating retelling of the history of the Celtic nations of Britain Moffat succeeds in a moving account The descriptions are vivid and the prose flows This is far from a staid list of dates an

  5. says:

    Very thorough and an undeniably entertaining read The thing is in mainstream history you are rarely presented with a book like this Even with trends in history to write about those who have been ignored the Celts seemed to have been passed over here too It goes without saying that their history is worthy of cons

  6. says:

    This is a difficult book to review I find I love the fact that someone was so into the Celtic history of the UK that they went around researching and visiting all the out of the way forgotten kingdoms fading languages strange customs and half forgotten stories The combined stories are beautifully told in a writ

  7. says:

    This is the third book by Alistair Moffat that I've read and as you'd guess given the fact that I've kept reading him I've

  8. says:

    A helpful history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles and Ireland organized in thematic language religion etc and regional Cornwall Wales Man Ireland Scotland chapters One complaint Moffatt does a good job of diggin up the origins of family and place names prverbial sayings and folktales but he never helps us with the pronunciation of all these Gaelic and welsh knots of consonants and vowels Take piobhaireachd for example The Engl

  9. says:

    A very readable introduction to Celtic history but I wonder how scholarly it is Having just read another of this author's works of popular history on a subject about which I know I am reminded of my misgivings ab

  10. says:

    Alistair Moffat has produced in this work one of the most intriguing and informative history books I have read in some time covering the Celtic peoples history and traditions of Scotland Wales Ireland Cornwall and the Isle of Man and to a much lesser extent Brittany in northern France as well as of England itself Too often the history of the