In beginning to read the book, I started jotting down a number of questions that I need to research to help me answer a couple of issues in my head to better understand where this author is coming from and what his biases are. Here are the questions, which I will need to revisit and answer:
1. Who, exactly, is Peter Beresford Ellis, and why is he considered authoritative when it comes to this subject?
He has an M.A. in Celtic studies from what is now the University of East London and has extensive experience in academics and writing. He is an authority on Celtic history and culture; he is highly regarded by other academics in his own field. For a number of years he was International Chairman of the Celtic League, chairman and vice-president of the London Association for Celtic Education; his awards, honors and prolific writing career are tremendous. In short, he is considered a historian, a biographer, a novelist and short-story writer but above all, a preeminent Celtic scholar.
2. What is his religious / spiritual background? Also, how is he defining ‘New Age’? Is he lumping the contemporary Druid groups, such as OBOD and ADF, into them?
When he mentions ‘New Age’ in the intro, he brings up David Loxley and Dr. Graham Howe and a book called ‘The Mind of the Druid’. He wrote an article called ‘Early Irish Astrology – An Historical Argument’, which he points out that Robert Graves’ work, ‘The White Goddess’, has done serious damage to the authenticity and accuracy of scholarship, including the invention of a ‘tree zodiac’.
3. How does he define a ‘modern Celt’ or is that an oxymoron to him?
Here is a clue to his thoughts on this subject: He asserts that, since there is no Celtic race, the basic determiner of Celtic identity is language. When the six Celtic tongues are allowed to die, the Celts will no longer, in his view, exist. So, my thought on this is, that he views modern Celts as those who are native speakers of the Celtic languages.