99 books like Pagan Celtic Britain

By Anne Ross,

Here are 99 books that Pagan Celtic Britain fans have personally recommended if you like Pagan Celtic Britain. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Druids

Terry Madden Author Of Three Wells of the Sea

From my list on Celts and Druids.

Who am I?

I have been studying Celtic history and lore since I was in college and took a class on Arthurian literature. Drawing heavily from Irish and Welsh lore to build my “land beyond the veil” known as the Five Quarters, I have always been intrigued by the Celtic view of the land of the dead as a distinct world to which we go and then return, like two sides of the mirrored surface of a well. The land below the water, and the land above. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Terry's book list on Celts and Druids

Terry Madden Why did Terry love 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!

By Peter Berresford Ellis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Druids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readable and well-researched history and practices of the Druids. Illustrated.


Book cover of The Shaman: Voyages of the Soul - Trance, Ecstasy and Healing from Siberia to the Amazon

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Who am I?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

Because of its beautiful presentation of this complex topic, the stunning illustrations and the superb, world-class knowledge the author brings to an enigmatic subject, in which the ability of certain individuals to access the spirit world is discussed. The theatre in which the author performs is worldwide, and, although shamanism differs hugely from the Americas to Siberia, from India to southern Africa, and way beyond, he brilliantly presents a cohesive and totally enthralling picture of the essential ingredients of shamanism: shape-shifting, ‘soul-flight’, healing through contact with the spirits, are just some of the themes covered in this short volume. The book engages academics as a sound starting-point for the understanding of what a shaman is but its concise style and gorgeous colour images will engage anyone remotely interested in world religions.

By Piers Vitebsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A richly illustrated guide to the hidden world of the Shaman through the ages, from the snowscapes of Siberia to the jungles of the Amazon.


Book cover of The Thetford Treasure: Roman Jewellery and Silver

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Who am I?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

In 1979 a magnificent hoard of late Romano-British gold and silver objects was discovered at Thetford, Norfolk. This is an incredibly important archaeological find, partly for the beauty and superb workmanship of the treasure but also for the information its presence provides concerning what was going on in the late Roman period in Britain. The hoard dates from the early 4th century AD, and its place of burial is at almost exactly the same location as, three centuries earlier, the tribe of the Iceni built a huge sacred timber structure, at the time of the Boudican rebellion in AD60. This was also a place of tribal assembly and after the Romans defeated Boudica, their army deliberately dismantled it as though it had never been, so as to erase their near-defeat by a British queen. The treasure itself is fascninating: for me the most intriguing objects were the more than thirty…

Book cover of English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Who am I?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

This well-illustrated and highly readable book (available in hardback and paperback) is a comprehensive discussion of archaeological evidence for sacred buildings in late Iron Age and Roman Britain: ranging from grand Classical public sanctuaries, such as the temple of Claudius at Colchester, to rural, more intimate shrines, such as the temple dedicated to Apollo Cunomaglus at Nettleton in Wiltshire. Many sanctuaries, particularly in south-west England, seem purposefully to have been built within a day’s walk of each other and (sometimes, perhaps) within sight of one another, and it is tempting to see these ‘chains of sanctity’ as pilgrim routes, akin to the Camino trails of southern France and northern Spain. Reconstruction drawings in this book cause the ruins of Roman Britain’s shrines to spring into life, and make it easy to imagine what it must have been like to visit and worship at these holy places. The finds, also, tell…

By Ann Woodward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based on new findings over the last 40 years, this book explores the ritualistic and cultic practices in Britain during the transitional period between paganism and early Christianity. A major theme running through the book is the continuity, or otherwise, between the cult sites, symbolism and rituals of the different periods: Iron Age, Roman and post-Roman. In the last 40 years, shrines at Lydney, South Cadbury, Uley, Bath and Maiden Castle and the great Roman cemeteries outside Winchester and Dorchester, have been excavated, together with a great number of other religious sites dating from the Iron Age, Roman and post-Roman…


Book cover of Britain Begins

Brian Haughton Author Of Haunted Spaces, Sacred Places: A Field Guide to Stone Circles, Crop Circles, Ancient Tombs, and Supernatural Landscapes

From my list on folklore and traditions of ancient sacred places.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by ancient sacred sites since I first visited the ancient Rollright Stones on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border decades ago. I am interested in how the study of folklore and local traditions can be used in conjunction with archaeology to trace the origins and purposes of ancient monuments. I am an author and researcher who has had seven books published on the subjects of ancient civilizations, prehistoric monuments, and supernatural folklore. Born in Birmingham, England, I am a qualified archaeologist with a BA in European Archaeology from the University of Nottingham, and an MPhil in Greek Archaeology from Birmingham University.

Brian's book list on folklore and traditions of ancient sacred places

Brian Haughton Why did Brian love this book?

I was attracted to this book as it uses the most up-to-date archaeological evidence together with new work on DNA and other scientific techniques to tell the story of the origins of the British and the Irish peoples, from around 10,000BC to the eve of the Norman Conquest. Whilst there are new archaeological discoveries made every week, one or two of which could potentially challenge some of the ideas in this work, at the moment it is the most up-to-date book on the subject which we have, and as such should be treasured.  

By Barry Cunliffe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Britain Begins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The last Ice Age, which came to an end about 12,000 years ago, swept the bands of hunter gatherers from the face of the land that was to become Britain and Ireland, but as the ice sheets retreated and the climate improved so human groups spread slowly northwards, re-colonizing the land that had been laid waste. From that time onwards Britain and Ireland have been continuously inhabited and the resident population has increased from a few hundreds to more than 60
million.

Britain Begins is nothing less than the story of the origins of the British and the Irish peoples,…


Book cover of The Greek Myths

Lance Lee Author Of Orpheus Rising: By Sam And His Father John With Some Help From A Very Wise Elephant Who Likes To Dance

From my list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents.

Who am I?

I don't write within received categories: our lives aren't lived in categories, but are full of varying realities, whether of home, childhood, marriage, parenthood, fantasy, dream, work, or relaxation, and more all mixed together. I can't write in any other way, however dominant a particular strand or age may be on the surface in a given work. Orpheus Rising may have a child hero, and a fantastic, elegant Edwardian Elephant as a spirit guide, but it let me tell a story of love lost and regained, of family broken and remade, of a father in despair and remade, themes of real importance in any life.

Lance's book list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents

Lance Lee Why did Lance love this book?

This is the best collection of the Greek Myths I believe, and of course covers the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, the direct inspiration for my book. In the classical myth the poet and musician Orpheus loses his love, Eurydice, and sings his way into Hades, overcoming all opposition, until even Hades agrees to let him have Eurydice back in the living world, so long as he does not look back at her until returned there. Once in daylight he does look back, and loses her forever as she hasn't stepped into daylight too. However, unlike Orpheus my young hero succeeds.

By Robert Graves,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Greek Myths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Robert Graves's classic retelling of the Greek Myths is definitive, comprehensive and unparalleled - and available now in the Penguin Classics Deluxe series, featuring a new introduction from Rick Riordan (bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and Olympian series).

Including many of the greatest stories ever told - the labours of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, Midas and his golden touch, the Trojan War and Odysseus's journey home - Robert Graves's superb and comprehensive retelling of the Greek myths for a modern audience has been regarded for over fifty years as the definitive version.

With…


Book cover of Avebury: Biography of a Landscape

Brian Haughton Author Of Haunted Spaces, Sacred Places: A Field Guide to Stone Circles, Crop Circles, Ancient Tombs, and Supernatural Landscapes

From my list on folklore and traditions of ancient sacred places.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by ancient sacred sites since I first visited the ancient Rollright Stones on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border decades ago. I am interested in how the study of folklore and local traditions can be used in conjunction with archaeology to trace the origins and purposes of ancient monuments. I am an author and researcher who has had seven books published on the subjects of ancient civilizations, prehistoric monuments, and supernatural folklore. Born in Birmingham, England, I am a qualified archaeologist with a BA in European Archaeology from the University of Nottingham, and an MPhil in Greek Archaeology from Birmingham University.

Brian's book list on folklore and traditions of ancient sacred places

Brian Haughton Why did Brian love this book?

Dating back over 4,500 years, Avebury is the world's largest prehistoric stone circle. It stands inside a village in Wiltshire, southern England. This book is not just a biography of the ancient site itself but also of the fascinating and highly unusual ritual landscape surrounding it. The most detailed, interesting, and clearly expressed account of the origins of Avebury I have read. The context of this magnificent prehistoric site is finally revealed in all its mysterious glory.

By Joshua Pollard, Andrew Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Designated a World Heritage Site, the landscape around Avebury in north Wiltshire contains a remarkable wealth of archaeological remains, including some of the most spectacular prehistoric monuments in Europe. Incorporating extensive research and fieldwork from the last ten years, this is the only book to explore the landscape context of Avebury over six millennia. There is of course a full description and interpretation of the impressive Neolithic monuments within the immediate area (including the Avebury henge itself), but the authors range far wider in both space and time. Extending from early prehistory, through the Roman occupation, to the Anglo-Saxon and…


Book cover of Lore Of The Land: A Guide To Englands Myths And Legends

Brian Haughton Author Of Haunted Spaces, Sacred Places: A Field Guide to Stone Circles, Crop Circles, Ancient Tombs, and Supernatural Landscapes

From my list on folklore and traditions of ancient sacred places.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by ancient sacred sites since I first visited the ancient Rollright Stones on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border decades ago. I am interested in how the study of folklore and local traditions can be used in conjunction with archaeology to trace the origins and purposes of ancient monuments. I am an author and researcher who has had seven books published on the subjects of ancient civilizations, prehistoric monuments, and supernatural folklore. Born in Birmingham, England, I am a qualified archaeologist with a BA in European Archaeology from the University of Nottingham, and an MPhil in Greek Archaeology from Birmingham University.

Brian's book list on folklore and traditions of ancient sacred places

Brian Haughton Why did Brian love this book?

For me, the widely varying folklore and myths of England covered in this book help to reveal the rich, unique history that the country possesses. One worry I have is that such traditions are already disappearing from the fields and squares of the land, and indeed the minds of the people. This is due in no small part to the homogenisation of individual cultures by the mainstream mass media, something which unfortunately shows no signs of abating. 

By Jennifer Westwood, Jacqueline Simpson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Where can you find the 'Devil's footprints'? What happened at the 'hangman's stone'? Did Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, ever really exist? Where was King Arthur laid to rest? Bringing together tales of hauntings, highwaymen, family curses and lovers' leaps, this magnificent guide will take you on a magical journey through England's legendary past. 'A fascinating county-by county guidebook to the headless horsemen, bottomless pools, immured adulteresses and talking animals that make up the hidden landscape of the country.' - "London Review of Books". 'Evokes an England terrified by screaming skulls, tantalized by hidden treasure, spooked by…


Book cover of The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales

Sharon Paice MacLeod Author Of Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

From my list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology.

Who am I?

My passion for Celtic cultures, languages, and traditions comes from my family, where singing and storytelling were common. I worked as a singer and musician, and trained in Celtic Studies through Harvard University. That was an amazing experience, and research in Scotland and Ireland expanded my knowledge tremendously. I taught Celtic literature, mythology, and folklore at numerous colleges, and am Expert Contributor in Iron Age Pagan Celtic Religion for the Database of Religious History at the University of British Columbia, and invited Old Irish translator for the upcoming Global Medieval Sourcebook at Stanford University. I wake up every day excited to share the historical realities of these amazing cultures and beliefs!

Sharon's book list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology

Sharon Paice MacLeod Why did Sharon love this book?

This is an incredibly useful and totally indispensable resource that provides excellent translations of well-known and lesser-known writings about the Celts from the Iron Age and the Medieval Era.

Many people don't realize that there are really bad translations of some of these materials floating around the internet, and there's no need for that. The editors and translators of this classic anthology are top-notch, and whether the accounts or texts come from Greek, Latin, Gaulish, Old Irish, or Middle Welsh sources, students and enthusiasts can rely upon them.

Because it is a sourcebook, it doesn't provide any commentary, so that's important to know upfront (and fear not: see below). As such, some of the material may not make sense to some readers - or can lead to erroneous claims and inaccurate conclusions - if one doesn't know the history of the text, the historical context, and the secondary studies that…

By John T. Koch (editor), John Carey (editor),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Celtic Heroic Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new edition of an invaluable collection of literary sources, all in translation, for Celtic Europe and early Ireland and Wales. The selections are divided into three sections: the first is classical authors on the ancient celts-a huge selection including both the well-known-Herodotos, Plato, Aristotle, Livy, Diogenes Laertius, and Cicero-and the obscure-Pseudo-Scymnus, Lampridius, Vopsicus, Clement of Alexandria and Ptolemy I. The second is early Irish and Hiberno-Latin sources including early Irish dynastic poetry and numerous tales from the Ulster cycle and the third consists of Brittonic sources, mostly Welsh.


Book cover of Coire Sois, The Cauldron of Knowledge: A Companion to Early Irish Saga

Sharon Paice MacLeod Author Of Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

From my list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology.

Who am I?

My passion for Celtic cultures, languages, and traditions comes from my family, where singing and storytelling were common. I worked as a singer and musician, and trained in Celtic Studies through Harvard University. That was an amazing experience, and research in Scotland and Ireland expanded my knowledge tremendously. I taught Celtic literature, mythology, and folklore at numerous colleges, and am Expert Contributor in Iron Age Pagan Celtic Religion for the Database of Religious History at the University of British Columbia, and invited Old Irish translator for the upcoming Global Medieval Sourcebook at Stanford University. I wake up every day excited to share the historical realities of these amazing cultures and beliefs!

Sharon's book list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology

Sharon Paice MacLeod Why did Sharon love this book?

So how does one interpret early Celtic literature?

Here is a prime example of how it's done, and done right. This anthology contains some of Emeritus Professor Tomás Ó Cathasaigh's most important studies and essays about early Irish literature, including mythic literature... and shows how much training, knowledge, and insight a person needs to not only to make sense of early Irish literature, but to really illuminate and understand it.

Tomás was my Old Irish teacher at Harvard, and it was truly an honour and blessing to sit at the knee of a master, as they say. He would blush to read such a gushing statement, as he was always so humble about his work, and understated in regards to his incredible knowledge and achievements.

His dry wit was unparalleled, as were his classes, which were intense to say the least. We were held to very high standards, and because…

By Tomas O. Cathasaigh, Matthieu Boyd (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Coire Sois, The Cauldron of Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Coire Sois, The Cauldron of Knowledge: A Companion to Early Irish Saga offers thirty-one previously published essays by Tomas O Cathasaigh, which together constitute a magisterial survey of early Irish narrative literature in the vernacular.

O Cathasaigh has been called "the father of early Irish literary criticism," with writings among the most influential in the field. He pioneered the analysis of the classic early Irish tales as literary texts, a breakthrough at a time when they were valued mainly as repositories of grammatical forms, historical data, and mythological debris. All four of the Mythological, Ulster, King, and Finn Cycles are…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Celtic mythology, the Celts, and Roman Britain?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Celtic mythology, the Celts, and Roman Britain.

Celtic Mythology Explore 24 books about Celtic mythology
The Celts Explore 34 books about the Celts
Roman Britain Explore 27 books about Roman Britain