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Modern Antiquarian [Hardcover]

Julian Cope
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 26 1998
Highly illustrated, THE MODERN ANTIQUARIAN is the result of an eight-year odyssey in search of prehistoric Britain. Of the countless sites visited, over 300 of the very best have been selected, their remains photographed and their relationships with the landscape explained. Julian Cope, one of Britain’s best known and much loved post-punk visionaries, takes the traveller to the first temples built on these islands in order to shine a light into the shadowy past of a modern people who have been hoodwinked into believing that their history began with the Roman conquest. In the essay section he examines our prehistoric beginnings through the evidence of our megalithic remains and their surroundings, helping us to reconcile where we are Right Now. ‘Such a splendid book, splendid in both its illustrations and its prose, rare partners in the archaeological world. I shall use it, of course.’ Aubrey Burl, archaeologist and author ‘A remarkable fusion of scholarship, practical advice and visionary insight’ The Express ‘Just visiting the sites is a major achievement… if Cope can be regarded as a barometer of the wider expectations of what archaeology should be doing, and I believe he should, then we must sit up and take note of the implications of this book.’ Timothy Darvill, Antiquity ‘A fine balance between the academic and the personal and the poetic… Deadly serious about his chosen subject, Cope has amassed an impressive knowledge of our nation’s landscape and its monumental masonry circa 3000BC’ Evening Standard ‘A strange and marvellous artefact – remarkable for its seriousness’ The Independent

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Review

'...expect the pathways to our most far-flung moorland monuments to be worn deep into trenches.’ -- Sunday Times Magazine

‘Erudite [...], articulate and lucid, he possesses an admirable degree of self-awareness.’ -- The Telegraph,

About the Author

Julian Cope rose to fame in ‘Teardrop Explodes’ at the height of the punk movement. Since then he has made over 20 albums and produced many new musicians. He has written and self-published two books, Krautrock Sampler and Head On, which both achieved cult status, as well as The Modern Antiquarian with Thorsons.


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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Informative March 11 2000
"The Modern Antiquarian" is a gorgeous book. It comes bound in a hardcover bright orange and metallic blue, the spine reminding me of a "sharp right turn" sign or a succession of Chevrons. The "dust jacket" is actually a hard cardboard dark blue and orange case with a cut-out in the center that focuses on a white sillouette of a dolmen, which is imprinted on the orange book cover itself. All the looks aside, this is a fabulously informative book on a subject which you can never have enough information. Julian Cope obviously took the time and effort to research and photograph the numerous prehistoric sites listed. He includes essays on the different folk-lores, theories, and conjectures that are forever lingering in such mysterious and unknown structures. His descriptions of the sites are very passionate and personal. He incorporates enough poetry, maps, personal photos, and enthusiasm to immerse the reader into taking the journey with him. The pages are full with pictures and are color-coded according to region. Anyone who is interested in prehistoric Britain, stone circles, or the just the very beginnings of human culture should read this book. It is a wonderful guide to a wonderful place.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great book, beware the 'facts'! Dec 17 2001
By A Customer
first to say - I've had my copy of the modern antiquarian for a few years now and it's enjoyed pride of place in my car for most of that time. never a book to be without if you're driving around britain.
but.. whoever thought this serves as a textbook must be.. new to the subject. some of the scholarship in here (the etymology in particular) is so wonky that I've laughed out loud while reading it - and this is not said as a cynical person. there are some really basic, glaring, wince-making errors, where julian has just tried to fit facts to his story.
the reason why I DO keep a copy with me is the second half, the gazetteer. this is written with so much energy, awareness and good humour that it becomes more of a companion than a book. accurate location details and directions, beautiful presentation, off-the-cuff poems, a sense of the author's own reaction and spirit. a really uplifting read - all the more reason why I wish the first half wasn't so shaky.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative but strange.... Nov. 3 1999
By A Customer
The last thing you might associate Julian Cope with is a book about British Neolithic sites but this book is actually rather good. As someone who lives near many of them and who has a passing interest I was grabbed by his enthusiasm. He manages to infect the reader with a sense of place and wonder, after all, these Stones meant a lot to the people who put them there- Julian Cope seems to understand that. Rather than being a re-hash of some mad Von-Daniken book or an 'Aliens must have built these' afficiando he has done his homework and produced a book that could stand in pride of place beside any University textbook. Don't let put you off, an excellent text.
Even if you aren't too keen on the opinions and the poems this book is an excellent guide to British neolithic sites and who knows, it might make you want to visit them yourself. You should.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Oct. 21 1999
By A Customer
Once again, the Drude has proven that he is genius! Having not much in the way of knowledge regarding the stones of England, Julian has made it interesting to this disinterested American.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative but strange.... Nov. 3 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The last thing you might associate Julian Cope with is a book about British Neolithic sites but this book is actually rather good. As someone who lives near many of them and who has a passing interest I was grabbed by his enthusiasm. He manages to infect the reader with a sense of place and wonder, after all, these Stones meant a lot to the people who put them there- Julian Cope seems to understand that. Rather than being a re-hash of some mad Von-Daniken book or an 'Aliens must have built these' afficiando he has done his homework and produced a book that could stand in pride of place beside any University textbook. Don't let put you off, an excellent text.
Even if you aren't too keen on the opinions and the poems this book is an excellent guide to British neolithic sites and who knows, it might make you want to visit them yourself. You should.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book, beware the 'facts'! Dec 17 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
first to say - I've had my copy of the modern antiquarian for a few years now and it's enjoyed pride of place in my car for most of that time. never a book to be without if you're driving around britain.
but.. whoever thought this serves as a textbook must be.. new to the subject. some of the scholarship in here (the etymology in particular) is so wonky that I've laughed out loud while reading it - and this is not said as a cynical person. there are some really basic, glaring, wince-making errors, where julian has just tried to fit facts to his story.
the reason why I DO keep a copy with me is the second half, the gazetteer. this is written with so much energy, awareness and good humour that it becomes more of a companion than a book. accurate location details and directions, beautiful presentation, off-the-cuff poems, a sense of the author's own reaction and spirit. a really uplifting read - all the more reason why I wish the first half wasn't so shaky.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Informative March 11 2000
By Darla Brewton-Smith - Published on Amazon.com
"The Modern Antiquarian" is a gorgeous book. It comes bound in a hardcover bright orange and metallic blue, the spine reminding me of a "sharp right turn" sign or a succession of Chevrons. The "dust jacket" is actually a hard cardboard dark blue and orange case with a cut-out in the center that focuses on a white sillouette of a dolmen, which is imprinted on the orange book cover itself. All the looks aside, this is a fabulously informative book on a subject which you can never have enough information. Julian Cope obviously took the time and effort to research and photograph the numerous prehistoric sites listed. He includes essays on the different folk-lores, theories, and conjectures that are forever lingering in such mysterious and unknown structures. His descriptions of the sites are very passionate and personal. He incorporates enough poetry, maps, personal photos, and enthusiasm to immerse the reader into taking the journey with him. The pages are full with pictures and are color-coded according to region. Anyone who is interested in prehistoric Britain, stone circles, or the just the very beginnings of human culture should read this book. It is a wonderful guide to a wonderful place.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but worth every penny. June 17 2007
By Jeff D. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Okay- TMA isn't an authoritative guide to neolithic sites. There's a lot of Mr Cope's opinion in here, and a lot of quasi religious/spiritual writing. If that's not your cup of tea, just don't read those parts.
What TMA is, however, is an excellent, well made, beautifully put together, funny, sweet, inspiring, encyclopedia of all the special neolithic sites in Britain. I've used it as a guidebook on three trips to the country, to see neolithic sites (actually, I've xeroxed the appropriate pages----the book is really heavy).
If you live in the UK, or if you are visiting, treat yourself to this book and visit a few sites. You will not regret the book, and you certainly won't regret visiting the sites.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Oct. 21 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Once again, the Drude has proven that he is genius! Having not much in the way of knowledge regarding the stones of England, Julian has made it interesting to this disinterested American.
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