Marcus Tanner The Last of the Celts

ISBN 13: 9780300104646

The Last of the Celts

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9780300104646: The Last of the Celts
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"In this lively book, which is part travelogue and part social history, independent historian Tanner records the results of his world travels in search of the remaining vestiges of Celtic culture. . . . He provides not only a portrait of modern society in flux in these regions but also a picture of each society's rich history. . . . [A] thoughtful book."--Publishers Weekly
"[A] lively and thought-provoking exploration of [the Celtic languages] status today."--Michael Kenney, "Boston Globe"
" [A] lively and thought-provoking exploration of [the Celtic languages] status today. " -- Michael Kenney, Boston Globe
" In this lively book, which is part travelogue and part social history, independent historian Tanner records the results of his world travels in search of the remaining vestiges of Celtic culture. . . . He provides not only a portrait of modern society in flux in these regions but also a picture of each society ' s rich history. . . . [A] thoughtful book. " -- Publishers Weekly
0;[A] lively and thought-provoking exploration of [the Celtic languages] status today.1;2;Michael Kenney, "Boston Globe"
0;In this lively book, which is part travelogue and part social history, independent historian Tanner records the results of his world travels in search of the remaining vestiges of Celtic culture. . . . He provides not only a portrait of modern society in flux in these regions but also a picture of each society7;s rich history. . . . [A] thoughtful book.1;2;Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

A cultural tour spanning the Celtic world from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to Brittany, and from Cape Breton to Patagonia, this book sets out to find out what has happened to the Celtic peoples in a world where pressure to conform to Anglo-American culture has grown ever stronger. Taking the form of a journey that starts in the wilds of north-west Scotland, before proceeding through western Wales, the Isle of Man, troubled Northern Ireland, the western seaboard of the Irish Republic and The French region of Brittany, the author weaves solid historical research into the language, religion, music and customs of the peoples concerned with first-hand encounters with a host of priests, ministers, government officials, cultural activists, musicians and writers. The author finds talk of a Celtic revival much misplaced, for while the term "Celtic" is banded around as never more, largely to suit the needs of commerce and tourism, the fragile cultures the word actually refers to in the north-west of Britain, Ireland and France are closer than ever before to extinction. As the author discovers on his journey, the tide is going out at different speeds in different places.

While Welsh culture and language are (relatively) robust, the rich culture of the Bretons is heading for almost certain oblivion in a decade or two at most, as relentless, centuries-long pressure to "be French" reaches its climax. Nor are the prospects much brighter for the small Celtic communities in the New World. As the author travels from Cape Breton in Canada to Patagonia in Argentina, he finds the once sturdy communities of Gaelic and Welsh speakers facing exactly the same threats of assimilation and ultimate disappearance. It is a development that impoverishes as all.

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