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Wednesday, July 10, 2019
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Sunday, June 23, 2019
Hidden Women: Celtic Burgundy & Europe
by Jacqueline Widmar Stewart
by Jacqueline Widmar Stewart
book review by Kat Kennedy
"Celtic women fought alongside their men to defend their families; Roman women did not."
The second in a series of books addressing pre-Christian, pre-Roman history hidden within the artifacts of Europe until a century ago, this study brings to light the fascinating discoveries that challenge written accounts of the time. In her attempt to address the implications of the findings, the author relies solely on the archaeology and uses only those written histories which can be independently verified. This look at the accomplishments and contributions of Celtic Burgundy reveals a society whose influence is seen throughout Europe today in architecture, education, hydrology, and textiles. One of the most astounding findings of the artifacts, however, is the equality which women and men enjoyed in Celtic society. In fact, studies reveal that the treatment of women changed dramatically around 2,000 years ago with their subjugation and designation as the mere property of fathers and husbands.
Stewart’s book is not only one of historical importance; it is one of beauty. Scattered throughout are poems of the author’s impressions of visited sites and the stories they reveal, and anyone wishing to find European sites offering a glimpse into Celtic civilization will also find a useful appendix listing them as well as numerous maps marking important areas of Celtic Burgundy. The many photographs of what was once Celtic Burgundy are as stunning as the newly uncovered history that continues to emerge from its artifacts. The work shines a light onto a world long hidden—a pre-Christian world which “revered women as the gateway to the future, but also honored the leadership, valor, and accomplishments of both [its] men and women.” It is an intriguing world the author introduces to readers and one which calls into question the forces behind its demise.
reviews/Hidden-Women-Celtic- Burgundy-and-Europe-by- Jacqueline-Widmar-Stewart.html
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
Saturday, May 25, 2019
in Paris gardens
French horticultural students brought me this beautiful bouquet from their gardens, but they also gave me a more poignant gift. They asked me what I thought of our American invention of suburbs.
I hadn't thought about what suburbs have done to Europe in a while. Years ago in Sweden I visited a tapestry weaver in a new subdivision full of wild flowers. More recently, though, French films set in Paris suburbs seethe with resentment and anger.
By asking the question, the students intimated the answer. Too often, bedroom "communities" abolish community ideals. Developers who run sewer and electricity to lots - and little else - deprive their residents of their own gardens, parks, swimming pools, libraries, festive halls, public markets and art centers. Suburban dwellers seeking these amenities in nearby locales probably do not support them as fully as core members.
Our Iron Age ancestors could teach us something. They put their best efforts into their shared spaces. Halls where they celebrated weddings, birthdays, solstices - those were their gems. They received guests in those vaunted places, in the midst of parks and gardens.
The whole point of governance is to pull together, not apart.
Mindful students bring hope for a beautiful future. Please keep thinking about these issues, dear young Scholars. We need your brains now more than ever.