The best books on Celts and Druids

The Books I Picked & Why

The Celtic World

By Barry Cunliffe

The Celtic World

Why this book?

If you are looking for an overview of Celtic culture, this book is it. It is richly illustrated with artifacts, many obscure, which I appreciate. It is written by one of the foremost Celtic historians. Cunliffe continues to delve into the relationships between tribes of people who have been collectively called "Celts."


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The Druids

By Peter Berresford Ellis

The Druids

Why this book?

My copy of this book is highlighted and dogeared to the max. When searching the word Druids, you usually come up with books on magic or books related to the neopagan movement which calls itself "druidism". This book, however, is a summary of what we really know about them and is based on solid research. Scholarly yet highly entertaining. Awesome book!


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Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales

By Alwyn Rees, Brinley Rees

Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales

Why this book?

An amazing analysis of myth and folklore from Ireland and Wales linking culture and language back to our Indo-European roots and parallels with Hinduism. It is rather technical, but if you are researching the foundation of Celtic lore, this is a must. I got my title from a quote in this book.


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Early Irish Myths and Sagas

By Jeffrey Gantz

Early Irish Myths and Sagas

Why this book?

For a quick dive into the most prominent Irish myths, this is an easy translation to get your feet wet. I drew heavily upon the “Wasting Sickness of Cuchulainn” as inspiration for my resurrected king in Three Wells of the Sea.


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The Mabinogion Tetralogy

By Evangeline Walton

The Mabinogion Tetralogy

Why this book?

Be sure it is Walton’s version of this very ancient Welsh mythological cycle. I have read other translations, but Walton turns the stories into more modern fiction and it rivals the best fantasy books out there, in my opinion. The Welsh pig-herd Pwyll and his bargain with the king of the dead is wonderfully told and highly readable.


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