The Harp and the Constitution

Myths of Celtic and Gothic Origin


Volume Editor:
‘Celtic’ and ‘Gothic’: both words refer today to both ancient tribes and modern styles. ‘Celtic’ is associated with harp music, native knitwear, and spirituality; ‘Gothic’ with medieval cathedrals, rock bands, and horror fiction. The eleven essays collected together here chart some of the curious and unexpected ways in which the Celts and the Goths were appropriated and reinvented in Britain and other European countries through the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries – becoming not just mythologised races, but lending their names to abstract principles and entire value systems.

Contributed by experts in literature, archaeology, history, and Celtic studies, the essays range from broad surveys to specific case-studies, and together demonstrate the complicated interplay that has always existed between ‘Celticism’ and ‘Gothicism’.

Contributors are: John Collis, Robert DeMaria, Jr., Tom Duggett, Tim Fulford, Nick Groom, Amy Hale, Ronald Hutton, Joep Leerssen, Dafydd Moore, Joanne Parker, Juan Miguel Zarandona.

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Joanne Parker, Ph.D. (2001, Leeds), is Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Exeter. She is the author of England’s Darling: The Victorian Cult of Alfred the Great (MUP, 2007) and Britannia Obscura: Mapping Hidden Britain (Cape, 2014).
Acknowledgements ... ix
List of Illustrations ... x
Notes on Contributors ... xi

Myths of Celtic and Gothic Origin: An Introduction ... 1
Joanne Parker

Part 1
The Gothic

1 Tribal Ancestors and Moral Role Patterns ... 13
Joep Leerssen

2 Eighteenth-Century Gothic before The Castle of Otranto ... 26
Nick Groom

3 Johnson and the Teutonic Roots of English ... 47
Robert DeMaria, Jr.

4 Wordsworth’s Gothic Education ... 66
Tom Duggett

5 A Tale of Two Kings: The ‘Celtic’ Arthur and the ‘Gothic’ Alfred ... 97
Joanne Parker

Part 2
The Celtic

6 The Rediscovery of the British Druids ... 119
Ronald Hutton

7 Ossianism and the Arthurian Revival: The Case of Richard Hole’s Arthur; or the Northern Enchantment (1789) ... 134
Dafydd Moore

8 Strange Meetings: the Romantic Poets and the Stone Circles of the Lake District ... 156
Tim Fulford

9 Reigning with Swords of Meteoric Iron: Archangel Michael and the British New Jerusalem ... 174
Amy Hale

10 From Pondal (1835–1917) to Cabanillas (1876–1956): Ossian and Arthur in the Making of a Celtic Galicia ... 189
Juan Miguel Zarandona

11 The Role of Alesia, Bibracte and Gergovia in the Mythology of the French State ... 209
John Collis

Select Bibliography ... 229
Index ... 250
Undergraduates, postgraduates, and academics in Celtic Studies departments; those studying C18th and C19th history; those working on Gothic literature (a popular undergraduate option); and archaeologists with an interest in ‘reception’.
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