This is a lovely little book, charting the rise of literary Paganism through the past couple centuries. Well, not paganism in the modern thought, as the author notes that hasn’t existed until about twenty – thirty years ago. I would argue that Paganism in that thought doesn’t truly exist now, beyond a handy dandy term to stick on your census form.
What Beattie has collected is a wide range of authors who have written about what, for the sake of argument, we’ll call Pagan ideas – the concept that nature is a sacred and numinous space. She collects the obvious ones – Keats, Yeats, Hardy and Tolkien, but also the lesser known ones – like Webb and Warner.
It’s always a joy to read a book for book lovers, and it’s had me pulling books off my shelves to read them again with fresh new eyes. I enjoyed reading about the authors’ lives, and it was interesting to see the world of the time through that particular author’s eyes and experience, rather than a dry collection of facts.
(Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post may be affiliate links. This means I earn a tiny amount of commission when you buy something through that link.)
Like books? Visit my book review blog Mercurial Review to get all of my posts about books from around the web.