1) I misquoted Yeats. The correct lines are: "And what rough beast . .
./Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
2) Contrary to what must now seem to be the case to people who have
been reading the posts about "nuts," I did NOT flame the Druidists. If I had,
I'd have researched them first and been much more specific. I wrote a book
review, for heaven's sake! of Geoffrey Ashe's "Avalonian Quest." Buried in
the last paragraph, I opined that this book, for my taste, gives too much aid
and comfort to "the nuts" who believe in druidism or mother-goddess worship.
That was all. It was heedless and impolite, and I've apologized for being
impolite; the druidists are not one of the religious groups I feel urgent
about offending; I reserve that for groups like the Moslem fundamentalists. I
think if I were a druidist or a wiccaist, and did not know this book, that
review would have led me to it, and I'd feel grateful to the person (me) who
reported its existence.
3) PS to the review: a British member of this list has faulted
"Avalonian Quest" for finding a maze where there are only ancient
agricultural terraces on Glastonbury Tor. Maybe so. But Ashe dealt at length
with just this question, and explained why he did not think that explanation
worked, and also said several times that the site needs archeological work to
prove or disprove the maze hypothesis. I therefore think he dealt with this
question fairly. My standing gripe with British historians specializing in
such matters is that they do not address one another's arguments. Ashe,
however much one wants to dismiss him as a popularizer, does take up the
contrary arguments in all his books, and assesses them, and gives his
counter-arguments. I think that makes him almost unique, and in some ways
more trustworthy than the better-regarded writers.
-- Rob Tucker, Philadelphia