Exploring the beliefs of English people during the fifth to ninth centuries
AcknowledgementsSadly this is an exceptionally incomplete list of thanks as the ideas presented in Anglo-Saxon Twilight have been developed over many years. I have simply forgotten who made some of the suggestions – or shot down some of my wilder thoughts!
My greatest debts are to Jill Bourn and Alby Stone for their friendship, advice and inspiration since the early 1990s. The writings and, more recently, personal emails of Stephen Pollington have also been of great benefit. Until his untimely death Bill Griffiths was also a source of profound insights into the Old English language. My heartfelt thanks to them all.
My grateful thanks also to the great many academics and authors listed in the Sources. Without the ideas of all these people my ideas in Anglo-Saxon Twilight would not have come about – and would have been even more speculative. Suffice to say that none of these people will necessarily share all the opinions expressed in Anglo-Saxon Twilight.
For use of pictures my thanks to Norman Fahy, Anthony Weir and a great many anonymous sources.
At the risk of inadvertently downplaying the importance of many other researchers, I would like to specifically thank six authors whose published works stand out as having awakened my awareness, sharpened my understanding and, most importantly, helped me to establish 'what it is possible to think'. When I read Karen Jolly's book, Popular Religion in Late Saxon England (Jolly 1996) sometime in the late 1990s, my mind was opened to different ways of looking at Anglo-Saxon beliefs. A few years later I read James Russell's The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity (Russell 1994) and a few 'light bulbs' went on in mind.
However, my interests in this topic remained largely dormant until the publication of Sarah Semple's paper offering a radical new way of thinking about hearg (Semple 2007). Around this time Dr Semple and Professor Martin Carver were collaborating on organising the series of conferences which culminated in the collection of papers published as Signals of Belief in Early England: Anglo-Saxon paganism revisited (Carver et al 2010), a work which most assuredly reawakened my interests.
Coming from a very different sector of academe, Sara Reith's essay about Stanley Robertson, the Scottish Traveller, (Reith 2008) opened up a number of insights into traditional ways of thinking about – and remembering – landscapes. Most recently, and most helpfully, Ronald Hutton's fine-grained study of the Druids (Hutton 2009) established what could sensibly be said about Romano-Gallic and Romano-British beliefs and practices. Without the insights and inspiration of these six studies I would not have felt ready to put together Anglo-Saxon Twilight.
copyright © Bob Trubshaw 2013