Lost Gods of England - Brian Branston
I looked forward to reading this book after Kathleen Herbert's excellent "Looking for the Lost Gods of England". The book had excellent reviews at Amazon and so I thought it was worth buying the hardcover.The book is presented as an academic tome, examining the archaeological evidence for the gods of the northern pantheon being part of the pagan tradition in England. It has various illustrations throughout of archaeological finds. Here my interest ended. It has taken me several long months to get through this book because I find it so frustrating. Perhaps the nature of archaeology has changed since this book was first written (1974), but I find the author only to willing to build very unstable bridges between what can be stated as fact, and what he is desirous of being fact. The author almost forces the evidence to fit his theories and, to me, this is deplorable.One can theorise, but one should be careful saying, "The evidence could suggest this, or it could suggest that", not: "One has this theory, which the evidence categorically proves to be fact", when there are clearly other explanations.For instance, Brian Branston provides explanations for various images found on objects; his tone and manner implying that his is the accepted meaning amongst historians, when, indeed, it is not. Also the author's assertions of links between certain names in Old English and the Nordic gods seemed tenuous. Having read various books, and theories on the northern gods and looked at the links in various old languages, I felt Brian Branston took things that little too far.Brian Branston is very enthusiastic about his subject, but, perhaps because of this zeal, he leaves much to be desired in terms of accuracy.For me, at least, and my opinion is very personal, this book is one I will not be keeping; it contradicted far too many other books on archaeology and the northern gods. I prefer authors, researchers and archaeologists who are more open to possibilities beyond their own theories.