No island is more deeply steeped in ancient history than Britain. The megalithic monuments are mute testimony to the mysterious foundations of ‘British’ culture, and the inhabitants’ knowledge of sophisticated mathematics, geodesy and astronomy. The inspirational ‘revelation’ of Alfred Watkins (the first person to promulgate the idea of ‘Ley Lines’), reminds us that British history is not just a matter of tradition, documentation and archaeology – but evokes deep-seated connections with the land itself. This book charts the strange origins of these beliefs, and how, over millennia, they developed into an underpinning ‘national story’ which came to legitimate British Imperialism, as well as providing a unifying identity in times of emergency which preserved the island against successive invaders, from the Romans to Nazi Germany. In sixteen chapters the chronological evolution of the ‘magic’ which lies behind conventional history is revealed.
Themes explored chronologically include:
The Megalithic mystery; why were the megaliths constructed?
Into the Night - (the disintegration of the Romano-British spiritual order; the Pelagian heresy; the onset of the ‘dark age’)
The myth of Arthur
The Giant Albion (the magical and mythical foundations of the British Empire; Dr John Dee, Edward Kelley et al.)
The Mystical Revival (the ‘underground stream’ of Gnosticism; millenarian sects; H.P Blavatsky and theosophy; the ‘Golden Dawn’ and its luminaries
The inner kingdom: how a magical worldview still permeates the modern British psyche
Martin Wall inherited his passionate interest in local history and folklore from his father and has been writing about these subjects for ten years. He lectures historical groups on a variety of subjects and acts as a gallery interpreter in his spare time.
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