98 books like Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars

By John Healy,

Here are 98 books that Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars fans have personally recommended if you like Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts

Luke Eastwood Author Of The Druid`s Primer

From my list on Druids and Druidry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of Druidry since the mid-1990s and I have also had a passion for history and mythology since I received a children’s version of “The Twelve Labours of Hercules” when I was around 7 years old. I’ve read pretty much all the major stories and texts in relation to Celtic myth and Druid lore (particularly from Ireland). I have spent the last 20 years studying the remains of Irish Druidism and how to incorporate it into modern practice is a respectful but relevant way.

Luke's book list on Druids and Druidry

Luke Eastwood Why did Luke love this book?

This is an enjoyable read, almost like a detective story, but it is full of information about the ancient Greeks and their contacts with the Druids of Gaul, and most likely Britain and Ireland, indicated by now lost ancient texts that remain in a few scant references.

This will help any reader gain a better understanding of the ancient Pagan world and Druidry in its original form, long before it was revived.

By Philip Freeman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Philosopher and the Druids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first book to fully explore one of the great journeys of the ancient world. Celtic studies are an increasingly popular topic at academic level and Philip Freeman is acknowledged as one of the foremost scholars in this field. It is accessibly written to appeal to every level of reader. It provides widespread review coverage. Serialisation is under negotiation. In the first century B.C., the Celts were famed throughout the ancient world for their savagery, reputed to be cannibals and headhunters. A young Greek philosopher called Posidonius decided to discover the truth about the Celts for himself and…


Book cover of Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions

Luke Eastwood Author Of The Druid`s Primer

From my list on Druids and Druidry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of Druidry since the mid-1990s and I have also had a passion for history and mythology since I received a children’s version of “The Twelve Labours of Hercules” when I was around 7 years old. I’ve read pretty much all the major stories and texts in relation to Celtic myth and Druid lore (particularly from Ireland). I have spent the last 20 years studying the remains of Irish Druidism and how to incorporate it into modern practice is a respectful but relevant way.

Luke's book list on Druids and Druidry

Luke Eastwood Why did Luke love this book?

While this draws on many earlier works and is somewhat influenced by romantic ideas of the time (in 1894) it contains much which you would struggle to find elsewhere unless you had access to a huge academic library.

The author gives his personal opinion on the reference material to a large extent, but he is quite explicit in that regard, so even though it is very dated, the reader is well aware of what is stated as pure fact and what is his own interpretation.

An essential work for those with an interest in the Irish form of Druidism and Paganism, which offers a unique insight and perspective long before the Druid revival reached Ireland.

By James Bonwick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1894. Excerpt: ... IRISH GODS. SOME writers, from a jealous regard to the reputation of their ancestors, have been unwilling to acknowledge the idolatry of ancient Erin. They reject the testimony as to images, and decline to accept the record as to heathen deities. Yet it is surely a satisfaction to know that the Highest and Unseen was worshipped at all, though under rude and material symbolism, instead of being unknown and unfelt. If…


Book cover of The Book of Druidry

Luke Eastwood Author Of The Druid`s Primer

From my list on Druids and Druidry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of Druidry since the mid-1990s and I have also had a passion for history and mythology since I received a children’s version of “The Twelve Labours of Hercules” when I was around 7 years old. I’ve read pretty much all the major stories and texts in relation to Celtic myth and Druid lore (particularly from Ireland). I have spent the last 20 years studying the remains of Irish Druidism and how to incorporate it into modern practice is a respectful but relevant way.

Luke's book list on Druids and Druidry

Luke Eastwood Why did Luke love this book?

Written by the first Chosen Chief and founder of the Order Of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD), it was published posthumously in 1990 from lost work rediscovered in 1984.

Based on remains of British or Brythonic Druidism combined with texts from the Druidic revival of the 18th century onwards and the author’s own ideas and research, it is one of the most valuable and practical texts of the modern Druidic path.

It is not an easy book to read, written in a rather academic and haughty style, but still it is well worth the effort of reading.

By Ross Nichols,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of Druidry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Comprehensive survey of the Druids from their earliest history to the current renaissance.

The book includes:

Druidic ideas and philosophy
* The relation with Arthur, Taliesin and the Grail
* The relationship of druidic teachings to sacred sites
* Descriptions of druidic ritual


Book cover of The Religion of the Ancient Celts

Luke Eastwood Author Of The Druid`s Primer

From my list on Druids and Druidry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of Druidry since the mid-1990s and I have also had a passion for history and mythology since I received a children’s version of “The Twelve Labours of Hercules” when I was around 7 years old. I’ve read pretty much all the major stories and texts in relation to Celtic myth and Druid lore (particularly from Ireland). I have spent the last 20 years studying the remains of Irish Druidism and how to incorporate it into modern practice is a respectful but relevant way.

Luke's book list on Druids and Druidry

Luke Eastwood Why did Luke love this book?

Another golden oldie (from 1911) but seriously, most of the older books were written with a level of seriousness, diligence, and rigorousness that is sadly lacking in many of the modern books on Druidism – which I find frequently regurgitate or recapitulate fairly recent earlier books from the mid-late 20th century, often without delving into the original source material.

This book, again, is not exclusively about Druids but more generally about the religious culture of the Celts across Gaul, Britain, and Ireland. Even so, it is an immensely informative book, albeit somewhat difficult to read because of the fairly archaic style of the writing. As with other somewhat challenging books – the pay-off is certainly more than worth the effort.

By J A MacCulloch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Religion of the Ancient Celts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Book cover of Stone Heart

Katherine Black Author Of Leverage

From my list on dark and twisted psychological thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing for a long time and reading even longer. I enjoy intelligent books that are well written—not overwritten or over punctuated—and as we all do both of those, I mean that it’s been well edited. And I understand the struggle which is why four of my five choices are from indie authors like myself.

Katherine's book list on dark and twisted psychological thrillers

Katherine Black Why did Katherine love this book?

I loved this book. If I had to describe this novel in one word it would be intelligent. Set in Celtic Ireland in the Iron Age, the language is rich and expressive and Merrigan takes you into his world until you feel you belong there. You are drawn into a time where everything is governed by the gods. The story takes you through the training of the young warriors and druids. With the ongoing conflict over land, and with the people’s lives steeped in superstitious beliefs, we come to care that the outcome falls well with our tribe.

Fionn is born into a simple rural tribe. His life is sweet as he grows to double figures playing with his sisters in the fields. At the age of ten, he is called to serve, and the boys of fighting age are gathered from across the land, taken from their families, and…

By Peter J Merrigan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stone Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ireland, 279 BC. A nation at war. For two boys, it will be gruelling. For Ireland . . . it will be bloody.

When the first raiding skirmishes of a foreign army are crushed and Ireland mourns her dead, one king knows their newfound peace is destined to fail. As Overking of Ailigh, Keeper of the North, he calls for the boys of his Celtic tribes to train as formidable warriors under his command.

For Aed, it begins as a fantastical quest. For Ronan, it helps him escape a cruel chieftain. Together, they must train and grow in strength and…


Book cover of Lion of Ireland

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Author Of Bohemian Gospel

From my list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as an overachieving student, I struggled with true/false tests, always writing short essays explaining why the answer wasn’t quite clear cut. Some teachers loved my need to blur the lines. Others not so much. But this aversion to boundaries—the idea that something (or someone) must be this or that—it’s part of my blood. I read everything in the library, nonfiction, fiction, all genres. I like books that cross from real to fantasy, history to fiction. I love characters who refuse to be told who and what they can (or can’t) be. I want love to break boundaries, too. That’s what this list is all about.

Dana's book list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Why did Dana love this book?

This was one of my earliest experiences with historical fantasy and started my love affair with the genre—both as a reader and a writer. Its rich storytelling plays in the gaps of what we know about Brian Boru, the most renowned king of medieval Ireland. I love how the story is grounded in historical setting and context (without overwhelming us with detail) and woven with the legendary magic of the place and time. What especially draws me in is the depiction of strong, complicated, female characters so often overshadowed in history but brought to life, front and center, in Llwelyn’s tale.

By Morgan Llywelyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lion of Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brian Boru was stronger, braver and wiser than all other men - the greatest king Ireland has ever known. And his women were as remarkable as his adventures. Set against the barbaric splendours of the 10th century, this is a story rich in truth and legend and dreams of glory.


Book cover of The Perilous Gard

Christine Cohen Author Of The Sinking City

From my list on fantasy deeply grounded in our world with a twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I received a classical education steeped in myth and folklore, and consequently I’m drawn to those stories that show how magic inhabits the liminal spaces of our world. My favorite books transport me to a different historical place or time, make it feel effortlessly lived in, and then explore what lies beneath the surface. I’ve now written two novels set in our world (900s Scandinavia and 17th century Venice), but with a twist, and I hope to write many more. After all, the wonderful thing about myths is that they contain deeper truths that connect us all. They bring us together, which is its own kind of magic.

Christine's book list on fantasy deeply grounded in our world with a twist

Christine Cohen Why did Christine love this book?

I picked this up as an adult thinking it was straight historical fiction. After all, we meet the imprisoned Princess Elizabeth of England in the first chapter. However, when the main character is relocated to a remote castle and discovers the underground world of the fairy folk, the story takes a delightful turn into the realm of myth and legend. It pays homage to the Scottish myth of Tam Lin, the ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, and several Arthurian legends, while remaining firmly grounded in Elizabethan England. The added twist of the fairy realm was so deftly accomplished that I finished the book thinking that perhaps, if I lived in Elizabethan England, I too might have stumbled upon the land of the Fairy Folk. 

By Elizabeth Marie Pope, Richard Cuffari, Cynthia von Buhler (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Perilous Gard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1558, while exiled by Queen Mary Tudor to a remote castle known as Perilous Gard, young Kate Sutton becomes involved in a series of mysterious events that lead her to an underground world peopled by Fairy Folk—whose customs are even older than the Druids’ and include human sacrifice.


Book cover of Druids

Sheila R. Lamb Author Of Fiery Arrow

From my list on pagans, saints, and love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I just looked this up. The word is Hibernophile. I love all things Irish even though I'm American, and distantly, Irish American. My inspiration for the Brigid of Ireland trilogy met at the intersection of genealogy research and discovering druids. The novel Druids by Morgan Llywelyn which I read soon after The Mists of Avalon impacted so much of my future writing I love research, too. Finding my family roots—immigrants to the New York marble quarries during the Famine—was the impetus for tying these two things together. This—researching Catholicism in Ireland—led me to Patrick and Brigid. I live, teach, and write in the mountains of Virginia.

Sheila's book list on pagans, saints, and love

Sheila R. Lamb Why did Sheila love this book?

This was the first book that made me realize druids had been real, and that entire belief system was nearly—in historical chronologystamped out by the Roman Empire. The story focuses on a young druid, Ainvar, who befriends Vercingetorix, the Celtic warrior who was brought to Rome in chains by Julius Caesar. While the setting is in Gaul, I began to understand the beliefs of the druid life that was very nearly lost. Where Rome’s war with the druids of Gaul was bloody and decisive, the Irish conversion took a different path. I wanted to find out why the two histories, the change from druid to Christian, was so dramatically different.

By Morgan Llywelyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Druids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tale of one man who has the vision and genius to save his Celtic people from destruction at the hands of Julius Caesar, this fantasy novel tells the story of the General's invasion of Gaul from the unusual point of view of the invaded.


Book cover of Skin

D.M. Cameron Author Of Beneath the Mother Tree

From my list on literary novels with elements of fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I hold a master's in writing modern stories based on ancient myth and have always been fascinated by the power of mythology and the idea of the archetypal subconscious, combine this with the wonders of the natural world and beautifully constructed sentences, and you have my dream read. All the books on this list, even though two are historical, have a modern sensibility, all celebrate the power of nature, and all are masterful in their execution. Enjoy!

D.M.'s book list on literary novels with elements of fantasy

D.M. Cameron Why did D.M. love this book?

This beautifully written debut, set in Iron-Age Britain on the cusp of the Roman invasion explores connection to country through the magical lens of druidism. Not only that, it is a page-turner and a love story and left me wanting more…which was good, because Tampke followed up with a sequel—Songwoman. If you are of Celtic heritage, this is a must-read.

By Ilka Tampke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A visceral tale of ritual, magic and violence' - The Sunday Times

Imagine a world where everyone is born with a 'skin' name. Without skin you cannot learn, you are not permitted to marry, and you grow up an outsider amongst your own people.

This is no future dystopia. This is Celtic Britain.

It is AD 43. For the Caer Cad, 'skin' name determines lineage and identity. Ailia does not have skin; despite this, she is a remarkable young woman, intelligent, curious and brave. As a dark threat grows on the horizon - the aggressive expansion of the Roman Empire…


Book cover of The Loom of Destiny: Book One

Martin Schiller Author Of The Faceless Man

From my list on spy/detectives with strong female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is an adage that urges the writer to write about what they know, and I have followed this to the letter. In addition to being an author, I have worked as a private investigator. I have also trained at two martial arts schools that specialize in Ninjutsu; Genbukan Yamato Dojo, and Bujinkan. Moreover, as a patrolman, and an ambulance driver, I have had the privilege of serving with female partners, lending me a valuable insight into the struggles that they face in otherwise male-dominated fields. But this is not all; I am also an occultist, making me familiar with things that most people would not even believe exist.😊

Martin's book list on spy/detectives with strong female characters

Martin Schiller Why did Martin love this book?

Another research source for my book, this series lent me a valuable insight into Celtic mysticism--on steroids, and it gave me an insight into what was possible with my male character, Sir Thomas Blackthorne (although I chose to take things in a radically different direction). I heartily recommend the audio version of this book, as narrated by the talented Rebecca McKernan.

By Gerry C Starnes, Ray Carter (editor), Stephanie Reynolds (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Loom of Destiny as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Their relationship forbidden by the ancients.
They are destined to change the world.

Druid Twilight: The Loom of Destiny is an epic journey to first century Ancient Britain, a fictional story set in a pivotal historic time.

By the authority of Emperor Claudius, four Roman legions invade the island for the second time under the command of a cunning and ruthless Governor. The Generals decide that the best way to subdue the warring tribes is to destroy the cultural and spiritual support offered by the Druids. What they do not know is that there is not one, but two Druid…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in druids, the Catholic Church, and Ireland?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about druids, the Catholic Church, and Ireland.

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