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p. 1128. Romanticism and the rise of nationalismlocked

  • Barry Cunliffe

Abstract

In the two centuries from c. 1550 to 1750, the Celts and the Druids, seen through the eyes of Classical writers, were discovered, positioned in the history of patriarchal religion, and situated in a landscape of megaliths. Their growing band of admirers visualized them as venerable old men, gentle in their rural simplicity, enacting engaging rituals. According to ‘Romanticism and the rise of nationalism’, it was an image appropriate to the age that created it. Unfortunately, there was no thread of continuity with the past, nor was there a Celtic literary heritage. The Romantics of the late 18th century used their hyperactive imaginations to fill these uncomfortable gaps.

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