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Celtic Women: Women in Celtic Society and Literature

Ellis, Peter Berresford

ISBN 10: 0802838081 / ISBN 13: 9780802838087
Published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996
Used Condition: Near Fine Soft cover
From James Lasseter, Jr (Brooksville, FL, U.S.A.)

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Number line in the book reads as follows: 01 00 99 98 97 96 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. 288 pages. An inspection of the work finds no apparent underlining, no highlighting, no markings, no bookplates, not ex-libris, not a remainder. A nice copy. Bookseller Inventory # 0004756

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Celtic Women: Women in Celtic Society and ...

Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Soft Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

About this title


Drawing on literary, mythological, legal, and historical sources, Peter Berresford Ellis sets out to explore the reality behind the myriad images we hold today. His Celtic Women provides a balanced and informed perspective on the position of women in Celtic society and asks how much of this ancient culture has filtered down through the ages. Ellis examines the concept of the "Mother Goddess" origin of the Celts as well as the pantheon of women in Celtic mythology - from Etain and Emer, and Macha and Medb, to Rhiannon and Gwenhwyvar (Guinevere). He also discusses a wide range of important historical personalities. Although Boudicca (Boadicea) is often cited as the most powerful historical Celtic female figure - the one who led southern Britain in insurrection against the Romans - Ellis shows that she was by no means unique. The results of Ellis's engaging study show that Celtic society undoubtedly maintained an order in which women were harmoniously balanced in relation to men. Beside the repressive male dominance of classic Mediterranean society, the position of women in Celtic myth, law, and early history seems to have constituted an ideal. Celtic women could govern; took prominent - sometimes the highest - roles in political, religious, and artistic life; could own property; could divorce; and were even expected to fight alongside men in battles. It was not until the Celts' encounter and conflict with the alien values of the Roman and Germanic cultures and the arrival of Western Christianity that the rights of women began to erode.

From Booklist:

From mythic Mother Danu to the pirate queen Grainne Ni Maille and the Kilkenny "witch" Alice Kyteler, what a marvelous cast of characters is here! Celtic scholar Ellis brings to life the named and unnamed heroines of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and even Celtic England. Reaching back to the mists of prehistory, Ellis offers evidence that Celtic women were accorded rights that modern women are now winning back. For instance, Shannon Faulkner has had to fight to get into the Citadel, but her distant cousin Boudicca led her people in war against Rome. This is a treasury of material that, while impeccable in its scholarship, is written in accessible and enthusiastic fashion. Patricia Monaghan

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