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Recommended Books on Stonehenge
We sometimes get asked by guests on our tours, to make recommendations on good books about the Salisbury and Stonehenge area. The following selection includes both fact and fiction and are, in our opinion, the best of quite a large number of titles.
STONEHENGE. Making sense of a prehistoric mystery. Mike Parker Pearson et al. In the past , attempts to explain Stonehenge and to understand why it was built have focused on the stones themselves, but as Mike and his team have demonstrated they are by no means the whole story.The truth lies in the landscape surrounding them.Illustrated by great aerial photographs and reconstruction drawings. ISBN 978-1-909990-02-9. Published October 2015.
THE STONEHENGE LANDSCAPE. Mark Bowden et al. Published by Historic England, the government agency responsible for protecting the historical environment of England, this book presents the most significant findings of English Heritage and the results of work undertaken by other research bodies. Covers a wide geographical area around the Stonehenge landscape and several time periods not just the prehistoric. ISBN 978 1 84802 116 7 Pub 2105.
STONEHENGE: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery by Mike Parker Pearson. Covers all the recent archaeological excavations by the Stonehenge Riverside Project which has taken forward our knowledge of the landscape in relation to Stonehenge. Digs were sponsored by National Geographic and have featured on TV in the UK and USA. If you have been on one of our tours you will see everything in this book. We are mentioned in it. ISBN: 978-0-85720-730-2
STONEHENGE. A New Understanding by Mike Parker Pearson. US version of the above book. Also available in Canada. ISBN: 978-1-61519-079-9.
Chalkland, an archaeology of Stonehenge and its region by Andrew J Lawson. An excellent book which looks not just at Stonehenge, but at a much wider area. Rightly shortlisted at the British Archaeology Awards 2008. At over 400 pages it can be described as authoritative on the period and well worth owning. The only downside is the photographs are in black and white only. Published by the Hobnob Press. ISBN 978 0 946418 61 9 (also available in paperback).
Stonehenge the Story so Far by Julian Richards. The ‘must have’ book on Stonehenge published by English Heritage who own and manage the stones. Well written description of the monument with some useful sections on its history, the landscape, and the people who lived at the time. It has some of the best photographs of Stonehenge that you will find anywhere. ISBN 978 1 905624 00 3
If you like novels try;
Stonehenge. A novel of 2000 BC by Bernard Cornwell. It’s what it says it is – a novel. Read the Historical Note at the end of the book first so that you know which places are which. Then come on a tour with us and see the real life Ratharryn! Loads of secondhand copies on eBay. ISBN 13 978 0 00 651386 5
Sarum by Edward Rutherford. A ripping yarn about the history of one of the most beautiful cities in England – Salisbury. It starts at the end of the ice age and finishes in more recent times. Set against the back drop of the history of England it shows how life in Salisbury may have changed with the politics of the time.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Interesting tale of how a medieval cathedral,such as Salisbury,may have been built. Contains all you would want from an historical novel – some loose historical facts, rape, pillage, love, revenge, and finally a ‘and they all lived happily ever after’ ending!