Celtic Links and Bibliography Page
Ambiani: Gaulish site (In French) Really Excellent!
"The Celts" by T G E Powell (Thames and Hudson, 1SBN
0-500-27275-1) is one of the first texts, published in 1958, and is
still one of the best.
"The Celts: First Masters of Europe" by Christiane
Eluere (Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0 500 300348) is cheap, colourful,
accurate and excellent.
"The History of the Celtic People" by Henri Hubert
(Bracken Books, ISBN 1-85170-952-5) is the first text (as far as we
know), published in 1934. A little dated, but interesting and
"The Celts" by Frank Delaney (Hodder & Sloughton,
ISBN 0-340-349328) covers the whole history and mythology of the
Celts in a broad sweep.
"The Celtic World" by Barry Cunliffe (Constable, ISBN
0-09-471640-4) is a huge, luscious coffee-table book, lovely to look
at and state-of-the-art.
"The Celts" by Duncan Norton-Taylor (Time-Life Books,
no apparent ISBN) is thorough, well written, nicely illustrated and
very hard to get hold of.
There are numerous chiIdren's books which are very good, such as
"The Celts" by Robin Place in the Macdonald Peoples of the
Past series (ISBN 0 356 05470 5). This is a good one to keep for
showing to new re-enactors.
Another one is "The Celts" by Hazel Mary Martell in the
Hamlyn See Through History series (ISBN 0-600-58414-3), with neat
see-through acetate scenes.
In 1991 Venice hosted the best Celtic exhibition there will ever
be. The English translation of the catalogue is "The
Celts" (popular title) by about 50 authors, published by
Bompiani, with no ISBN I can find. It is huge (800 pages) and
expensive (£25 in paperback), but packed with detail and glorious
full colour photos on every aspect of Celtic culture. For hard-core
"Celtic Britain" by Lloyd Laing (Paladin, ISBN
0-586-08373-1) is a little dry, but good value.
Any book by Anne Ross is illuminating, such as "The Pagan
Celts" (Batsford, ISBN 0 7134 5527 6). This describes everyday
"The Everyday Life of a Celtic Farmer" by Giovanni
Caselli (Macdonald & Co ISBN 0-356-11366-3) is a good chiIdren's
book, except that the Celts help a wounded Roman instead of hacking
his head off.
"The Catuvellauni" by Keith Branigan (Alan Sutton, ISBN
0 86299 255 9) is scholarly and dry, but thorough.
"Boudicca and the Ancient Britons" by Lucilla Watson
(Wayland, ISBN 0 85078 760 2) is for kids, derivative, not terribly
accurate but OK for kids.
"Butser Iron Age Farm" by P J Reynolds (Later Dr
Reynolds, British Museum Publications, London, 1979) is the
definitive book on how to build a round-house.
The best primer is definitely "Rome's Enemies (2): Gallic
and British Celts" by Peter Wilcox, number 158 in the Osprey
Men-At-Arms series (ISBN 0-85045-606-1, 1985). It covers all major
historical events and is superbly illustrated by Angus McBride.
There is also "Celtic Warrior 300 BC - AD 100" by Stephen Allen,
number 30 in the Osprey Military series (ISBN 1-84176-143-5, 2001), and
adequately illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (but there's only one Angus
"Ancient Celts" by Tim Newark (Concord Publications, ISBN 962-361-623-6, 1997) is a big soft cover book filled with terrific illustrations by the inimitable Angus McBride.
In the same vein is "Barbarians" by Tim Newark (Concord Publications, ISBN 962-361-634-1, 1998), also featuring illustrations by Angus McBride.
"Celtic Warriors" by Tim Newark (Blandford Press, ISBN
0-7137-16908) is a proper hard-back and thouroughly covers 400 BC to AD 1600.
There is an excellent section on the Celts in "Greece and
Rome at War" by Peter Connolly (Macdonald, ISBN 0-7481-0109-8).
"Celtic Warriors" by W F and J N G Ritchie (Shire, ISBN
0-852637144) is OK . Giggle at the top photo, page 39.
"The Conquest of Gaul" by Caesar (Penguin Classics,
ISBN 0-14-044433-5). It may be written by a war criminal, but it is
an eye-witness report, and hence of interest.
"The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" by Phil
Barker (Wargames Research Group publication, no apparent ISBN) has a
few good Celtic bits.
"The Celtic Empire" by Peter Beresford Ellis (GuiId, no
apparent ISBN) is OK .
"The Gods of the Celts" by Miranda Green (Alan Sutton
Publishing ISBN 0-86299-292-3) is about their religion and beliefs.
"Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend" by Miranda Green
(Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0-500-01516-3) is thorough and handy.
"Animals in Celtic Life and Myth" by Miranda Green (Routledge,
ISBN 0-415-05030-8) is also thorough. I think Miranda may be
secretly a druid.
If you have any pretensions at all to understanding the Celtic
temperament you MUST read "The Tain" translated by Thomas
Kinsella (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-281090-1). It separates
the men from the boys.
And while you're reading that, why not listen to these most
excellent and bodacious soundtracks:
"The Tain" by Horslips (CD by Homespun Records, MOOCD
5), a musical interpretation of the myth.
"Cuchulain" by Van Morrison (tape by Moles Records,
MRILC 012), a raw and powerful telling of the story whilst obviously
"Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race" by T W Rolleston
is now out of copyright and back in print and therefore cheap
(Senate, ISBN 1-85958-006-8). The myths are essential to
appreciating the Celtic temperament.
Somehow he came back 80 years later and managed to produce
"The Illustrated Guide to Celtic Mythology" (Studio
Editions, ISBN 1-85170-882-0). Less words and more pictures, but
"Celtic Myth & Legend" by Charles Squire dates from
the same period (circa 1915) and is also pretty good. I don't know
if it is in reprint or has an ISBN.
"Lady Gregory's Complete Irish
(including "Gods and Fighting Men" and "Cuchulain of Muirthmne") by
Lady Gregory (Smithmark, ISBN 0-7651-9824-X) is the first translation
into English of the old myths, but it's by a Victorian girl so its a
"Early Irish Literature" by
Myles Dillon (Four Courts Press, ISBN 1-85182-177-5) covers some stuff most books leave out.
"The Mabinogion" by Gwyn
Jones and Thomas Jones (Everyman's Library, ISBN 0-460-11097-7) is a definite classic.
Beware books claiming to be about Celtic art. They usually mean
post-Roman dark-age Book of Kells Anglo-Christian art from the 6th
century AD onwards, not pagan Celtic La Tene art which dates no
later than the 1st century AD.
"Celtic Art" by I M Stead (British Museum, ISBN
0-7141-2031-6) is an excellent introduction.
"Celtic Art" by Ruth and Vincent Megaw (Thames and
Hudson, ISBN 0-500-05050-3) is huge.
"Early Celtic Art in Britain and Ireland" by Ruth and
Vincent Megaw (Shire, ISBN 0-85263-679-2) is cheap and cheerful.
"Art of the Celts" by Lloyd and Jennifer Laing (Thames
and Hudson, ISBN 0-500-20256-7).
"Celtic Art in Pagan and Christian Times" by J Romilly
Allen (Bracken Books, ISBN 1-85891-075-7) ia another venerable old
tome out of copyright, back in print and cheap.
"Early Celtic Art in Northern Britain" by Morner
McGregor (Oxford University Press, 1976) is recommended by Orm.
One iron age Celtic art form was warpaint, and probably the
definitive article on this obscure subject was written by this
author and appears in body art issue 20, published
by Publications Ltd. "Painted Britons" by Karl Gallagher.
"Early celtic Art in Ireland" by Eamonn Kelly (National
Mueseum of Ireland, ISBN 0-946172-34-X, 1993) Covers Iron Age art in
Ireland and evolution into the later Christian styles.
"Celtic Coinage in Britain" by Phillip de Jersey
(shire, ISBN 0-7478-0325-0) is cheap and an excellent reference for
"Danebury - Anatomy of an Iron Age Hillfort" by Barry
Cunliffe (Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-0999-1) is thorough and readable.
"Hillforts of England and Wales" by James Dyer (Shire,
ISBN 0-7478-0180-0) is short and sweet.
"The Lake Villages of Somerset" by Arthur Bulleid
(Glastonbury Antiquarian Society) is the classic text on the
Glastonbury lake villages, containing details on their way of life
"Arthur Bulleid and the Glastonbury Lake Village" by
John Coles, Armynell Goodall and Stephen Minnitt (Somerset Levels
Project, ISBN 0 9507122 1 3) is all about the above book, and is far
"The Life and Death of a Druid Prince" by Anne Ross
(Rider, ISBN 0-7126-2511-9) is a scholarly and imaginative work on
"Towns, Villages and Countryside of Celtic Europe" by
Francoise Audouze and Olivier Buchsenschutz (BCA) is scholarly and
full of useful information.
"Iron Age Cemeteries in East Yorkshire" by I M Stead
(British Museum Press, ISBN 1 85074 3517) is packed with useful
information, including everything you need to know to reconstruct
the Kirkburn Sword.
"The Arras Culture" by I M Stead (Echo Press, SBN 902
357 03 4) is less weighty and fills in some of the holes in the
There are plenty of mists and twilight pseudo-Celtic novels
around, but we think these are the best.
"The Black Charioteer" by Hugh Paterson (Dobson, SBN
234 77296 4). Set around and after the Battle of Medway, and the
best Celtic novel we've found yet.
"The People of the Horse" by Mary Mackie (Star, ISBN
0-352-32112-1). Boudicca, sex and violence.
"Red Branch" by Morgan Llywelyn (Ivy, ISBN
0-8041-0591-X). The best novelization there will ever be of the
Ulster Cycle. Also published as "On Raven's Wing".
These are pretty thin on the ground.
For a laugh, or a cry, try "The Viking Queen", by
Warner/Hammer in 1967. It has nothing to do with Vikings, and not
much to do with Celts either really. It follows the Boudicca story
pretty accurately, but Boudicca is renamed Selena for some stupid
reason, and played by a Swedish beauty queen known only as Carita.
Less glossy, but carrying the Brigantia seal of total approval is
the documentary Boudicca, produced by Cromwell
Films for Castle Vision for W.H. Smith in 1994. Highly accurate, and
starring several Celtic re-enactment societies including Prytani,
the Silures, the Catuvellauni, the Cantiacci and Brigantia, and the
Arthurian society Britannia. This is now being seen on the Discovery
channel from time to time. The horrors of human sacrifice are
demonstrated by this author (the druid with the handful of guts).
This time Boudicca is played by Andrea Mason, currently appearing on
the British cop show "The Bill". Paullinus, you're nicked.