I just checked out the Simon James interview that Doug Weller kindly pointed
us to (http://pages.britishlibrary.net/ccs/interviews/simon-james.html), and
found it quite interesting, and not just for those of us who haven't read the
man. I'm in the curious position of having read some of his earlier stuff on
the Celts (indeed, have used his book of that name for reading in my Celtic
History and Culture course), but not the Atlantic Celts book. I'm not an
archeologist (I'm a literary historian), so I've not kept up with the
particulars of the wars over that book. Anyone on the list care to summarize
for me? Doesn't the 1999 book represent a substantial departure from his
earlier scholarship? Could he perhaps be simply adding some balance to the
"other side" of the debate (in which I'd include folks like Peter Berresford
Ellis or such titles as "How the Irish Saved Civilization")? Or is he the
Anti-Celtic Satan Incarnate that many Celticists seem to believe he is? Have
folks simmered down about him in the two years since the publication of the
book? And have other scholars followed suit to write similar texts, or is he
pretty much still alone in his theories?
Apologies in advance if this is an annoying request for rudimentary
information . . . .
Carrie A. Prettiman, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, International Languages
Chair, Executive Session for the Study of Celtic Languages and Literatures,
Modern Language Association for North America
Cedar Crest College