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The Ancient Druids: Background information when reading Lanny

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Lanny

by Max Porter

Lanny by Max Porter X
Lanny by Max Porter
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  • First Published:
    May 2019, 160 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2020, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Natalie Vaynberg
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The Ancient Druids

This article relates to Lanny

19th century painting of a Druid with a robe and white beardIt is likely that when you hear mention of the ancient Druids or Druidism, certain images arise–perhaps there are flowing white robes or oak leaves involved, there are also probably long, bushy beards and maybe a sprig of mistletoe. Over the centuries that separate us from this enigmatic group, we have done a great deal of mythologizing, culminating in what is now a well-established portrait. In his new novel, Lanny, Max Porter calls on ancient druidic lore—close communion with nature, prominent featuring of trees and an existence of an unknown Other beyond what our eyes can see. But how much of his portrayal is accurate?

The stark reality is that there are only a handful of facts that we know for sure about the druids. They were a revered order of wise men and women of the Celtic people. The Celtic culture appears to have been centered in modern day France (Gaul) and the British Isles, but at its height (around 300 BC) is believed to have extended into much of Spain and...

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