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From the twelve days of Christmas to the Spring traditions of Valentine, Shrovetide, and Easter eggs, through May Day revels and Midsummer fires, and on to the waning of the year, Harvest Home, and Hallowe'en; Ronald Hutton takes us on a fascinating journey through the ritual year in Britain. His comprehensive study covers all the British Isles and the whole sweep of history from the earliest written records to the present day. Great and lesser, ancient and modern, Christian and pagan, all rituals are treated with the same attention. The result is a colourful and absorbing account in which Ronald Hutton illuminates the history of the calendar we live by, and challenges many commonly held assumptions about the customs of the past and the festivals of the present. The Stations of the Sun is the first complete scholarly work to cover the full span of British rituals, challenging the work of specialists from the late Victorian period onwards, reworking our picture of the field thoroughly, and raising issues for historians of every period.
Ronald Hutton is Professor of History at the University of Bristol. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of Merry England (OUP 1994) and Charles II: King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (OUP, 1989; OPB,1991).