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Rings of Stone (1979)
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Evergreen Dazed
1881 posts

Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 17, 2017, 20:51
Got a copy of this recently. Paid a little over the odds, but I wanted a cleanish copy with the dust jacket and no library marks, pencil marks or previous owners bogeys.
Yet to read it, but the photography (Edward Piper) is utterly superb.

I love Burls books. They always take me back to when I first got into the subject. They seem to have a distinct atmosphere. He's very readable and his obvious love for the subject comes through (And his obvious love for his wife, Judith!) He's self effacing but also quite sarcastic. An absolute pleasure to read.

I've got 7 of his, and they are all more than just books to me. They resonate with me in a way few others do.

Any other Burl fans here?

He is in his 90s now. I feel humbled when I think about what he has done with his life and the work he has produced. Incredible.

I think I just feel like saying 'Thanks'. If it wasn't for him, I don't think I would have got in so deep or visited so many amazing places and got so much pleasure from this subject.

A true guiding light.
Howburn Digger
Howburn Digger
765 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 17, 2017, 21:42
I really admire the spartan, determined, maverick stance of Alexander Thom (who reminds me of Hugh MacDiarmid) but I relish Burl's lack of hesitation in doubting Thom's Megalithic Yard and also how Burl rebuked the long drag from Preseli with a few well chosen words. I love that merciless puncturing of theories formulated through years of thankless, dusty mathematical torment and years of tramping and measuring in steadily falling rain. Burl dismissed Thom's Yard as "a grotesque statistical misconception". Such debates remind me, in the kindest way possible, of the extended footnotes regarding De Selby's works and theories in "The Third Policeman".

Burl still found a lot to write about in his books. And he wrote a lot of books. Don't get the one about Catallus. I've got the Carnac-Callanish one and Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany. We need guys like Burl as well as the Thom's.
I'm afraid the professional TV archaeo-pundits and careerists cannae really hold a light to those big boys.
Evergreen Dazed
1881 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 17, 2017, 22:22
Howburn Digger wrote:
.. and also how Burl rebuked the long drag from Preseli with a few well chosen words.


'Kamikaze crews', one of my favourites.

Howburn Digger wrote:
.. I love that merciless puncturing of theories formulated through years of thankless, dusty mathematical torment and years of tramping and measuring in steadily falling rain.


Superb.

Howburn Digger wrote:
We need guys like Burl as well as the Thom's.
I'm afraid the professional TV archaeo-pundits and careerists cannae really hold a light to those big boys.


Too right.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
5878 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 17, 2017, 22:43
Howburn Digger wrote:
I really admire the spartan, determined, maverick stance of Alexander Thom (who reminds me of Hugh MacDiarmid) but I relish Burl's lack of hesitation in doubting Thom's Megalithic Yard and also how Burl rebuked the long drag from Preseli with a few well chosen words.
.....

We need guys like Burl as well as the Thom's.


Thom would be crucified on here.
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 17, 2017, 22:50
What I like most about Burl is his writing style , simply very readable , not something I could say for most archaeo writing today. The subject matter was usually interesting too . Imo we owe him a great debt .
Evergreen Dazed
1881 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 17, 2017, 23:49
tiompan wrote:
What I like most about Burl is his writing style , simply very readable , not something I could say for most archaeo writing today. The subject matter was usually interesting too . Imo we owe him a great debt .


Yep, very readable, and i've always liked the fact that you have to read closely.
It's like he delights in saying something that will trip you up, unless you have carefully read and understood what has come before. Theres a touch of the mischievous there, like he's not giving it away for free, you have to apply yourself.

I saw him talk at the museum in Devizes, a good few years ago now, the title was 'The Invisible Stone Circle'.
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 17, 2017, 23:56
I nearly avoided his "Stonehenge " book because I was told that it was "pretty poor" by a pro , who will remain anonymous , it turned out be great fun , full of wit , new info and enlightening anecdotes .
drewbhoy
drewbhoy
2494 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 18, 2017, 09:31
Evergreen Dazed wrote:
Got a copy of this recently. Paid a little over the odds, but I wanted a cleanish copy with the dust jacket and no library marks, pencil marks or previous owners bogeys.
Yet to read it, but the photography (Edward Piper) is utterly superb.

I love Burls books. They always take me back to when I first got into the subject. They seem to have a distinct atmosphere. He's very readable and his obvious love for the subject comes through (And his obvious love for his wife, Judith!) He's self effacing but also quite sarcastic. An absolute pleasure to read.

I've got 7 of his, and they are all more than just books to me. They resonate with me in a way few others do.

Any other Burl fans here?

He is in his 90s now. I feel humbled when I think about what he has done with his life and the work he has produced. Incredible.

I think I just feel like saying 'Thanks'. If it wasn't for him, I don't think I would have got in so deep or visited so many amazing places and got so much pleasure from this subject.

A true guiding light.


Agree with everything you say about Burl.
CianMcLiam
CianMcLiam
1067 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 18, 2017, 18:42
Love Burl's writing, really brings the sites and the Archaeology alive. Must look out for that one, it's not one I've seen around.
Evergreen Dazed
1881 posts

Re: Rings of Stone (1979)
Aug 18, 2017, 23:24
CianMcLiam wrote:
Love Burl's writing, really brings the sites and the Archaeology alive. Must look out for that one, it's not one I've seen around.


There are plenty of copies available on-line, some for just a few pounds..

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0906459036/ref=tmm_hrd_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=&sr=
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