The Last of the Celts
By Marcus Tanner
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300104646, 432pp.)
Publication Date: September 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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What has become of the Celtic peoples whose culture once spanned Europe from the Atlantic to the Black Sea? Does the current faddish interest in Celtic nationalism, music, and arts signal the beginning of a revival for Celtic communities, or the last flicker of a dying culture? Award-winning author Marcus Tanner has journeyed throughout the Celtic worldfrom the wilds of Northwest Scotland to the Isle of Man, from Brittany to Patagonia, and from Boston to Cape Bretonseeking to discover the Celtic past and what remains of authentic Celtic culture today.
Weaving together extensive historical research with first-hand observations of Celtic people in far-flung communities, Tanner finds that talk of a Celtic revival is largely misplaced. He describes the fading prospects of those who have maintained a Celtic identity in the face of powerful pressures to assimilate. Despite great public interest in all things Celtic,” the threats to the world’s remaining Celtic communities, their language, and their culture are relentless. A distinct Celtic identity may not survive, Tanner fears, and such a loss would impoverish us all.
Marcus Tanner is a freelance writer and journalist.
“In this lively book, which is part travelogue and part social history, independent historian Tanner records the results of his world travels in search of the remaining vestiges of Celtic culture. . . . He provides not only a portrait of modern society in flux in these regions but also a picture of each society’s rich history. . . . [A] thoughtful book.”—Publishers Weekly
“[A] lively and thought-provoking exploration of [the Celtic languages] status today.”—Michael Kenney, Boston Globe