Department of English
Chapman University
Orange CA 92666

Near the beginning of Book II of Hyperion (1818-1819), John Keats’s uncompleted first attempt to retell in blank verse the Greek myth of the overthrow of the Titans by the Olympian gods, the vanquished demigods, nursing their wounds in a “covert drear,” are described as “scarce images of life. . .like a dismal cirque / Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor” (II, 33-4). Though buried amid sweeping Miltonic evocations of suffering, this simile reveals an important constituent element of Keats’s romanticism, and merits detailed attention. For the purposes of this essay, the most significant feature of the simile is the historico/archaeological misconception contained in the metaphoric vehicle: Keats repeats the error–common in his day–of attributing the stone circles that dot the British landscape to the Druids, a Celtic priesthood described in Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic Wars (and other classical texts) as practitioners of human sacrifice.

This essay will explore in some depth the historic and cultural sources of Keats’s mistaken association of Druids with prehistoric stone circles like Castlerigg, which he visited on his walking tour through northern England, Ireland, and Scotland in the summer of 1818(1) [fig. 1]. Doing so will serve as the starting point for some more general observations on the problem of sacrifice in English romanticism. Sacrifice is a problem for English romantics because–following the paleoanthropological wisdom of their day–they associated some of the most commanding and picturesque features of their native landscape with a sacrificial cult, and, as a result, their familiar surroundings appear replete with evidence of prehistoric institutions of victimization. Thus to think in originary terms–a guiding principle of romanticism–is to confront the English romantic with a difficult double task: he must resist the originary appeal of the landscape’s continuing sacrificial temptations at the same time that he assimilates sacrifice into a scheme of orderly cultural evolution. Keats may be distinguished from his proto-romantic and romantic precursors by the relative degree of ease with which approaches these potentially conflicting imperatives.

For Keats, as for his great poetic precursor William Wordsworth, the Druids provide the crucial link between the sacrificial character of prehistory and the present-to-mind landscape. On the rhetorical level, this is how the Hyperion simile works: the vanquished demigods’ resemblance to the still-extant, even familiar remnants of human sacrifice suggests to Keats that the Titans, representatives of an obsolescent social order, were sacrificed by their successors. On the ideological level, the simile thus suggests that in Keats’s view sacrifice is the engine of cultural evolution. Moreover, by evoking a contemporary, patently British landscape within the context of a hypothetically re-created scene of significant cultural transition, Keats invited his readers to recognize the “relevance” of a distant Greek myth–and, by extension, all mythopoesis. In short, recreating an originary scene–and reminding ourselves that its powers continue to constitute reality, even to the level of shaping the landscape–becomes the best means of understanding that scene’s continuing constitutive operations.

In this regard, Keats’s attitude toward Britain’s mythic past is quintessentially romantic: as Eric Gans has written, “the knowledge offered by romantic esthetic culture, however mediated through worldly matters, is not worldly but anthropological knowledge–knowledge of the originary scene in its modern disguises” (170). How the Druids came to play this anthropologically significant role for romantics like Keats and Wordsworth is in many respects as interesting as the originary insight to which it ultimately led. Before examining selected poetic evocations of the sacrificial overtones of “Druid stones,” I will recount first how Britain’s mysterious monuments mistakenly came to be associated with the Celts, and, second, how the Druids’ sacrificial penchant was assimilated into a powerful myth of their “nobility.”


Britain is fortunate to possess the greatest concentration of prehistoric monuments in Europe: today, the remains of hundreds of prehistoric burial barrows, henges (circular enclosures surrounded by one or more concentric banks and ditches), and, most impressively, circles of standing stones (more than 170 in England, Wales, and Scotland) are scattered through the countryside, attracting tourists, New Age spiritualists, and archaeo-paleontologists. The most famous of these is, of course, Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain [fig. 2], which, owing to the remarkable sophistication of its engineering and the celestial alignments of its sarsen pillars, has served as the focus of most of the paleoanthropological speculation the monuments have inspired. In fact, such speculation has a long and colorful history, having begun when Geoffrey of Monmouth (1100?-1154), according to a note by the compiler of the fourteenth century Tractatus de mirabilibus Britanniae, wrote that Stonehenge had been brought from Ireland to its present location by the Arthurian wizard Merlin in AD 438.

Geoffrey’s speculation is typical of early paleoanthropological thinking in two respects: it links the features of the British landscape with “established” myth and history, and it drastically underestimates the age of the monuments it considers. Modern archeological research has shown that Stonehenge, for example, was built in three stages over a period of nearly 1300 years, from its earliest beginnings as some type of ritual center in about 2800 B.C., through various intermediate configurations, to its present form, believed to have been completed about 1550 B.C. The tendency to place the monuments in relatively recent times–which, as we will see, helped later writers to attribute them to the Druids–arose, as Stuart Piggott has written, from the fact that even as late as the sixteenth century, “the concept of non-historical antiquity was almost impossible to grasp” (Ruins 7). In the wake of the destruction of the myth of British history that sustained Geoffrey, Piggott writes,

an unfortunate gap was left. It was necessary to construct a new documentation for the remote past, which would again link British antiquities to the historically documented past of either the Bible, or the world of classical mythology and history. The bolder spirits managed to combine the two, and so make the best of two ancient worlds, sacred and pagan. Bale, for instance, produced in 1548 a splendid scheme by inventing a character called Samothes, son of Japhet, as the first post-diluvian King of Britain, in the third millennium BC, with a collateral descendant, Albion, who was the son of Neptune and the great-grandson of Ham, and who later came to the British throne (Ruins 7).

While the secular spirit of the Renaissance gathered momentum through the seventeenth century, culminating in the founding of the Royal Society for the Study of Antiquities in 1662, “gentleman diggers” continued to struggle with the notion of prehistoric antiquity, and even well into the Age of Reason were excavating tumuli with one hand while clutching their Bibles and Commentaries of Caesar in the other. Indeed, it was during the Enlightenment that the most spectacular archeological misconception concerning the provenance of ancient monuments arose, ironically through the well-meant efforts of the man who is still credited with having done more than any other single figure to preserve Britain’s rich archeological history. That man was William Stukeley (1687-1765).

After having been educated at Cambridge (where he befriended the aged Isaac Newton), Stukeley was a physician in Boston, Lincolnshire when, in 1719, he first visited Stonehenge. Captivated by the majesty of the site, he spent his spare time over the next ten years cataloguing and mapping prehistoric monuments, largely in Wiltshire and Hampshire. His most valuable work by far was the careful and precise measurements he made at Britain’s largest and most spectacular prehistoric site, the temple complex at Avebury in northwest Wiltshire [fig. 3][fig. 4]. This site, which includes a stone circle thirteen times larger than that at Stonehenge, appears to have served as southern Britain’s dominant prehistoric cult center, and encompasses numerous burial barrows, long “avenues” marked out by standing stones, and Silbury Hill [fig. 5], the largest man-made hill in Europe.(2) Stukeley’s work at Avebury was nothing less than heroic: he precisely measured and mapped the positions of the standing sarsens on the site just ahead of the workmen who were toppling and breaking up the stones for building material. Visitors to the site today, in fact, owe Stukeley a debt of gratitude, for it was largely through his efforts that excavations and restorations of the stones in the 1920s and 1930s were possible.(3)


It was natural that after so much field work Stukeley would speculate on the prehistoric origins and function of the site he had so lovingly mapped and described. When he came to publish his findings at length in the early 1740s, however, Stukeley shocked and disappointed his fellow antiquarians by proposing not only that Avebury had been built by the Druids, but that the overall layout of the entire temple complex “proved” that Druidical religion was both an offshoot of the pre-Judaic patriarchy of the Old Testament and a clear precursor of Christianity. Undeterred by the fact that (in the words of Stuart Piggott) “there is nowhere in the classical writers any association made between the Druids and stone circles and similar monuments” (Stukeley 80), Stukeley concluded that the Druids had shaped the Avebury site as a “Serpentine temple” [fig. 6] in order to symbolize their miraculous intuition of Christianity’s central doctrine, the Trinity:

The form of that stupendous work is a picture of the Deity, more particularly of the Trinity, but most particularly what they anciently called the Father and the Word, who created all things. . . . A snake proceeding from a circle is the eternal procession of the Son, from the first cause. . . (quoted in Piggott, Stukeley 104).

This symbolic interpretation of the site’s shape also enabled Stukeley to reconstruct the history and doctrine of the Druids; his “findings” are here presented as summarized by Stuart Piggott:

[T]he Druids had come to England as part of “an oriental colony” of Phoenicians, “in the very earliest of times, even as soon as Tyre was founded: during the life of Abraham, or very soon after; indeed, soon after Noah’s flood….” [W]hile [Stukeley] is careful to write that “we cannot say that Jehovah appeared personally to [the Druids],” yet he thinks they could by their own reasoning have reached “a knowledge of the plurality of persons in the Deity” and so become at least not Unitarians, but in a fair way to claim themselves good churchmen. Isolated in Britain (“left in the extremest west to the improvement of their thoughts,” as he puts it), they had preserved the patriarchal traditions intact–“the true religion has chiefly, since the repeopling of mankind after the flood, subsisted in our own island.” This religion “is so extremely like Christianity, that in effect it differ’d from it only in this; they believed in a Messiah who was to come into the world, as we believe in him who is to come.” The leader of the Druidic immigrants Stukeley conceived as being the Tyrian Hercules, “a worthy scholar of Abraham” and “in the same generation as Noah’s grandsons.” He had landed in west Britain and probably as one of his labours, had built the stone circle of Boscawen-Un, in Cornwall (Stukeley 99-100).

What had led Stukeley to such a far-fetched conclusion? This is easily answered: in 1729 Stukeley abandoned medicine to take holy orders in the Anglican church, and thenceforward saw himself as a vanguard soldier in the war against Deism. Deism followed David Hume in holding that the historical progress from polytheism to monotheism was the natural result of advances in reasoning power, and that the primitive’s egoistic tendency to “trace the footsteps of invisible power in the various and contrary events of human life” leads necessarily to “polytheism and to the acknowledgment of several limited and imperfect deities. . . . We may conclude, therefore, that, in all nations, which have embraced polytheism, the first ideas of religion arose not from a contemplation of the works of nature, but from a concern with regard to the events of life, and from the incessant hopes and fears, which actuate the human mind” (section II, paragraphs 3-4). Monotheism, by contrast, arises from the “contemplation of the works of nature,” which necessitates forming the “conception but of one single being, who bestowed existence and order on this vast machine, and adjusted all its parts, according to one regular plan or connected system” (paragraph 1). By describing the Avebury complex as just such a “connected system,” Stukeley hoped to obscure the obvious functional implications of its shape (the avenues as processional paths for victims and their attendants, the circles as enclosures for sacrificial altars) behind a doctrinal symbol that implied the presence of a monotheistic mind. As he put it in a 1730 letter to his friend and fellow antiquarian Roger Gale, viewing the monument as a “serpentine temple” enabled Stukeley “to combat the Deists from an unexpected quarter, and to preserve so noble a monument of our ancestors’ piety, I may add, orthodoxy” (quoted in Piggott, Stukeley 104).


This aim required Stukeley diligently to overlook not only the possibility that Avebury’s plan was functionally derived. He also had to ignore the first-hand picture of the Druids provided by the classical authors, especially Julius Caesar, whose Commentaries on the Gallic Wars documented Druidical practices in greatest detail. The keynote of Caesar’s account of the Druid cult is their love of sacrifice: in fact, the main difference between the Germans and the Gauls is that the former “have neither Druids to preside over sacred offices, nor do they pay great regard to sacrifices” (6.21). According to Caesar

The nation of all the Gauls is extremely devoted to superstitious rites; and on that account they who are troubled with unusually severe diseases, and they who are engaged in battles and dangers, either sacrifice men as victims, or vow that they will sacrifice them, and employ the Druids as the performers of those sacrifices; because they think that unless the life of a man be offered for the life of a man, the mind of the immortal gods can not be rendered propitious, and they have sacrifices of that kind ordained for national purposes. Others have figures of vast size, the limbs of which formed of osiers they fill with living men, which being set on fire, the men perish enveloped in the flames. They consider that the oblation of such as have been taken in theft, or in robbery, or any other offense, is more acceptable to the immortal gods; but when a supply of that class is wanting, they have recourse to the oblation of even the innocent (6.16).

Stukeley’s account of Druidical religion makes no mention of these practices. Indeed, Stukeley mentions sacrifice only once in his account of Avebury, and only in passing: “Publick sacrifices, games, hymns, [and] sabbatical observance,” he writes, were probably celebrated at the site. Nowhere does he acknowledge that some of those sacrifices might have been of human victims.

Ironically, writes Stuart Piggott, Stukeley’s enlistment of the Druids in the battle against Deism proved to be an inspired strategy: while the “Deistic controversy is now a remote lost cause, enshrined in the faded pages of unread sermons and pamphlets, and alive only to the ecclesiastical historian,” the “Druids die hard, as every British archaeologist knows to his cost, and even recently could appear without warning in the pages of some journal in the very guise in which they were decked by Dr. Stukeley 200 years ago” (Stukeley 25). The classical testimony of their sacrificial essence, however, was never as forgotten as Stukeley might have wished; and even as Romanticism, eager to see the Celtic priesthood as champions of liberty for their resistance to Roman imperialism, spread the myth of the noble Druids, their apologists frequently found themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to explain away or otherwise account for the obvious conclusion that the stone circles provided the loci for unspeakable rites. Both the picturesque poetry and the guidebooks of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that treated prehistoric monuments invariably ran up against the problem of Druidical sacrifice, usually concluding in Stukeleian fashion that the nobility of Druid dogma more than compensated for their unfortunately savage–if ultimately understandable–customs. Consider, for example, how Rev. J. Ogilvie’s poem The Fane of the Druids (1787) glosses a reference to “sacred virgins”:

It is not to be denied, that those women are said to have been the instruments of perpetrating deeds in the oblation of human sacrifices; which cannot be related, or even thought on, without horror. Some ancient writers seem to dwell on this subject with a satisfaction, which may induce an impartial reader to suspect that their accounts are greatly exaggerated. . . . I should, however, do injustice to my subject, if I did not observe upon this occasion, in their behalf; that in the exercise of this practice, in the inhuman manner in which they are said to have set about it, the Druids exhibit an object altogether singular and extraordinary. For, although history offers to our view barbarous nations, who sacrificed human victims in such a manner, at the celebration of their horrible orgies; yet we ought to remember, that they meant, by this rite, to conciliate the favour of certain malevolent beings, who were supposed to derive pleasure from the miseries of mankind; and to whom they believed they had given offence. But we have already seen that the Druids entertained the purest and most sublime conceptions concerning the majesty and perfection of the Divine mind; that they venerated the oak, as the Jews did the most holy place, only as being honoured by his immediate presence; that they officiated among men as his viceregents; and that they every where inculcated the doctrine of immortality…. In other respects, neither the Romans nor the Carthaginians, who practiced this inhuman rite themselves, had any reason to find fault with it among others (22).


For the purposes of this essay, the most important legacy of Stukeley’s establishment of the inevitable association of the Druids with the British landscape’s prehistoric traces is the undertone of guilty self-justification that runs through this passage. In accepting that the Druids built the stone circles, the romantics found themselves having to confront what we might call the landscape’s guilty sacrificial secret, since their anthropological intuition could not avail itself of Stukeley’s polemically-motivated transformation of the Druids into proto-Christians. Various strategies evolved for resisting the landscape’s sacrificial temptations. To provide a contrasting backdrop that will highlight the singularity of Keats’s approach to this dilemma, we will first examine an isolated but nevertheless characteristic response to the landscape’s lurking sacrificial challenge by Keats’s great precursor, William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Like Ogilvie, Wordsworth acknowledges but then quickly suppresses the sacrificial secret of the Druids: their association with groves and circular stone enclosures lends all such places a vaguely violent cast; but this association is generally glossed over or suppressed in favor of the fulfillment of some other aim–memorializing the victim or lauding the restraint of the lyric self. An Evening Walk, one of Wordsworth’s first published poems, begins by placing its lyric speaking in a sun-drenched landscape, inhabited by friendly cattle and horses. His way seems naturally to tend, however, out of the light; and as he seeks some relief from the heat by a stream, an “obscure retreat. . .opened at once, and stayed my devious feet.” Entranced by the trickling waters that dance in the light, the “listless swain” rests awhile, and pauses to praise the bower in which he finds himself so pleasantly ensconced:

Did Sabine grace adorn my living line,
Blandusia’s praise, wild stream, should yield to thine!
Never shall ruthless minister of death
‘Mid thy soft glooms the glittering steel unsheath;
No goblets shall, for thee, be crowned with flowers,
No kid with piteous outcry thrill thy bowers;
The mystic shapes that by thy margin rove
A more benignant sacrifice approve–
A mind, that, in a calm angelic mood
Of happy wisdom, meditating good,
Beholds, of all from her high powers required,
Much done, and much designed, and more desired,–
Harmonious thoughts, a soul by truth refined,
Entire affection for all human kind (4).

“Soft glooms” and “mossy rocks” suggest their inevitable paleoanthropological concomitants for the post-Stukeleian poet of the British landscape: the “glittering steel” of the sacrificial knife and the thrilling, but “piteous” cry of the victim. Wordsworth’s hurried, and therefore telling response to this chain of associations is not only typical of his early poetry, it sets the pattern for many of the most haunting lyrics of his “great decade” of 1797-1807. The British landscape’s challenge to his cherished notions of intrinsic human benevolence will continue to be met with “more benignant sacrifices” than the bloodthirsty rites of the past. Like that of Stukeley, Wordsworthian originary thinking merely repeats the sacrificial reality it uncovers by substituting an intellectual expulsion for the physical one that so affronts it.

By contrast, Keats’s evocation of the Druidic landscape–and, by extension, the sacrificial in general–reveals a somewhat more equable acknowledgment of the centrality of the practice to an originary understanding of the human. That sacrifice plays an important role in Keats’s poetic vocation and works is demonstrated not only by the fact that it appears so frequently in his poetry. That, after all, could be explained merely by Keats having chosen, especially in the longer works, to draw his subjects from Greek mythology. At the center of Keats’s most famous poem, the “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” and therefore, perhaps at the center of his poetic project, stands a compelling sacrificial scene:


Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Leads’t thou that heifer lowing at the skies
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?

These earnest questions stand, as generations of readers have recognized, at the core of Keats’s artistic project. Their quest is not, however, as narrowly historical or exclusively aesthetic as has been assumed; to search for the “actual urn,” whether literal or figurative, evoked by these lines is to turn away, in Stukeleian and Wordsworthian fashion, from the anthropological challenge posed by scenes on Grecian urns and by the “dismal cirques” of “Druid stones” that issue their own challenges in the familiar landscape. For our purposes, Wordsworth’s wish for a “more benignant” sacrifice to replace the unnamed but presumably brutal Druid rites can be seen as the conventional first generation response to the landscape’s sacrificial temptations. Keats’s evocations of the Druidic landscape differ from Wordsworth’s and Ogilvie’s sentimental pictures of the Druids and their rites–a view which must shrink guiltily from the violent reality of their practices–to the extent that the younger romantic anthropologizes sacrifice: instead of hiding or rejecting it, he searches out the practice’s originary significance.

A comprehensive demonstration of this aspect of Keats’s poetry is, of course, beyond the scope of this essay. I also do not mean to suggest that Keats merely hypostatizes sacrifice as yet another means of defusing it of some of its terrible power. In order to suggest how Keats in practice differs from his proto-romantic and romantic forbears, I will conclude with a look at perhaps the most critically neglected of Keats’s great odes, the “Ode to Psyche.” Composed in late April or early May of 1819, “Psyche” is commonly held to have served Keats as something of a warm-up to the most famous of his odes, the companion poems (composed in late May of 1819) “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” “Psyche” begins–conventionally enough–with an invocation of this goddess of late antiquity, “wrung by sweet enforcement” (Keats 275). As in Wordsworth’s “An Evening Walk,” the attention of the lyric speaker in “Psyche” moves from its initial focus on the peripatetic landscape to an internalized scene, which, tellingly, is quickly reconfigured as a Druidic bower. Owing to the lateness of Psyche’s ascension to Olympian status, Keats imagines, the indispensable establishing gesture of her divinity–a sacrifice–was neglected. That oversight, he promises, will be remedied by the mental processes which the composition of the ode instaurates:

O latest born and loveliest vision far
Of all Olympus’ faded hierarchy!
Fairer than Phoebe’s sapphire-region’d star,
Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky;
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
Nor altar heap’d with flowers;
Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
Upon the midnight hours;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
From chain-swung censer teeming;
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
Of pale-mouth’d prophet dreaming (275).

Pledging himself to priestly service for the neglected goddess, Keats vows to “build a fane / In some untrodden region of my mind” :

And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreath’d trellis of a working brain,
With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
With all the gardener Fancy e’er could feign,
Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same:
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
That shadowy thought can win,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
To let the warm Love in! (275)


At the outset of his last and greatest creative outburst, Keats enters a sacrificial bower strikingly different from that which produces Wordsworth’s troubled evocation of the guilty secret that clings to the Druid-haunted landscape. Instead of hurrying to a vague but comforting prediction that unspecified but less gory rites would soon supplant the violent realities of the past, Keats here searches for some means of assimilating the ubiquity of sacrifice to an understanding of essential and continuing human processes. This he finds in the tantalizing metaphoric equation between the sacred spaces that dot his landscape and the “untrodden region” within his mind. That, in turn, leads to an essentially scenic intuition: the birth of “psyche” (thought) can be conceived of not only chronologically, but spatially as well–that what is needed for the continual creation of new knowledge is a cleared space, a space set off from its surroundings by some readily recognizable boundary. A “dismal cirque of Druid stones,” or any other such marker of sacred precincts, provides just such an instaurating boundary. The countryside’s vestiges of Druid sacrifice are therefore not merely the hints of a guilty historical secret; they are traces of originating gestures, new thoughts. For Keats, stone circles and mysterious monuments furnish the starting points for an understanding of the role sacrifice plays in creating the permanent structures of both thought and history. The apparent ubiquity of the practice carries for him, therefore, less of a threat to his conceptions of man’s fundamental benignity and the ancient functional overlap between priest and bard.

Permanence is the keynote of the rest of Keats’s great odes, completed between May and October of 1819. The transcendent permanence that Britain’s stone circles appeared to possess served as the starting point for a more detailed and profound consideration of transience in the human realm, a theme which famously runs through “Nightingale” and “Grecian Urn.” Transience was not, however, merely one of many “themes” or ideas successively stumbled upon and explored by Keats in his tragically short poetic career. It was, as W. Jackson Bate has recognized, the culmination of a thought process, begun in Keats’s letters, but completed, meditatively as it were, in verse (486-7). However timeless and moving those meditations continue to be, we must continually remind ourselves that they, like all thoughts, did not spring up ex nihilo from the fevered brain of the poet. Like his fellow romantics, Keats discovered in his native land plentiful evidence for speculation on the character and practices of incipient cultures. Unlike many of his early nineteenth-century compeers, however, Keats courageously accepted the inference to which the sacrificially-derived stone circles and monuments led him.

1. Most critics and biographers agree that Keats’s immediate source for the image in Hyperion was this monument, which still stands near Keswick in the county of Cumberland. For both details of the walking tour and a photograph of the stone circle, see Carol Kyros Walker, Walking North with Keats (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1992), 17-18.(back)

2. As the figures show, the stone circle at Avebury is complex, consisting of a large circular bank and ditch (about 1400 feet in diameter) and an outer circle of standing stones (1100 feet in diameter) that itself encloses two rings of smaller standing stones. Silbury Hill, the purpose of which has never been definitively established, rises to a height of 40 meters and has a base diameter of 165 meters. It is believed to have been begun about 2750 B.C. and completed by about 2700.(back)

3. Visitors owe another debt of gratitude to the iconoclasm of medieval Christianity, for during the middle ages many of the stones were felled and buried in order to conceal evidence of Britain’s pagan past. Stukeley himself excavated many of these stones; but the majority lay undisturbed until the 1930s, when Alexander Keiller excavated and restored the stones that stand today.(back)


Works Cited

Bate, Walter Jackson. John Keats. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1963.

Burl, Aubrey. Prehistoric Avebury. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979.

Caesar, Julius. C├Žsar’s Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars.

Gans, Eric. Originary Thinking: Elements of Generative Anthropology. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993.

Hume, David. The Natural History of Religion.

Keats, John. Complete Poems. ed. Jack Stillinger. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1971.

Ogilvie, Rev. J. The Fane of the Druids. London: printed for J. Murray, 1787.

Piggott, Stuart. Ruins in a Landscape. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1976.

———-. William Stukeley: An Eighteenth-Century Antiquarian. London: Thames and Hudson, 1985.

Wordsworth, William. The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1982.


1. Castlerigg Stone Circle

2. Stonehenge


3. Avebury

4. Avebury

5. Silbury Hill

6. Stukeley’s plan of Avebury as “Serpentine Temple”