Julianus reviews The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy by Ronald Hutton in the archive of Bkwyrm Occult Book Reviews.
This overview is based mostly on archaeological and historical remains (meagre as they often are) with special reference to the “claims” of modern Pagans. The main problem with the author’s approach is that he simply worships at the altar of Documentation, making the unwarranted assumption that “no evidence = no possibility.” He also fails to realise that the “latest scholarship” he takes such pride in using is undoubtably just as much a product of intellectual fashions as the “out-dated” work he criticises so profusely. Admittedly his critique of the “Female-Supremacist” version of pre-history is quite good and perfectly reasonable, but one wishes he could have done a better job with other areas. His discussion of Earth Mysteries is particularly off-handed. Like most establishment scholars he simply does not know enough about occult view-points to argue with them effectively; he can only attack his own erroneous preconceptions. In discussing modern occult history he makes more blunders than one could hope for in a careful professional historian, having been led astray by Francis (the-Third-Evil) King, among others.
Actually the book is not as bad as all that, especially considering it is such a wide-ranging production involving more specialties than the author had at his disposal. It is certainly nice to have all this archaeological data in one convenient place. Still, one waits for a superior and more sensitive treatment of the subject.