Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Monday, 23 April 2018

Coming soon: The Stonehenge Bluestones

Coming soon to a good bookshop near you -- the definitive guide to the great controversy!  A tale told (of course) with great sensitivity and discretion, featuring all the charismatic heroes whom we have grown to love over the years........

New title, new cover, and a great deal of new content, bang up-to-date.

Publication date:  1st June 2018


by Brian John

Greencroft Books, 256 pp, 110 illustrations.  Full-colour A5 paperback. 

Cover price £15.00
ISBN 9780905559940

Back cover blurb:

The mysterious bluestones of Stonehenge have caused heated debate for a hundred years, following the discovery that they came from West Wales.   Were they quarried and carried on sledges and rafts all the way to Salisbury Plain by our Neolithic ancestors?  And did the famous monument ever look as immaculate as the archaeologists have imagined it?

Following a meticulous examination of exciting new research from Stonehenge and West Wales, earth scientist Brian John tests a number of fondly-held beliefs to destruction.  He concludes that the bluestones are all glacial erratics, carried eastwards by the Irish Sea Glacier almost half a million years ago and gathered up not far from the monument. 

This book is a detective story with a difference.   It will cause a fundamental reassessment of  “the science of the stones” and enhance our sense of wonder about the forces at work in the natural world. 


S├Čor-Uaine said...

"..He concludes that the bluestones are all glacial erratics, carried eastwards by the Irish Sea Glacier almost half a million years ago and gathered up not far from the monument."

Great! I love a bit of fiction.

TonyH said...

Probably, it also enhances our sense of wonder at the forces at work within the archaeology departments at certain U.K. universities. We know which ones.

BRIAN JOHN said...

!!! You may say that, but I couldn't possibly comment........ !!!

BRIAN JOHN said...

Not fiction, SU -- after careful analysis, balance of probabilities....... read the book, and then decide what is fiction and what is not.

GCU:In two minds said...

Lovely cover. Your son?

I doubt that there will be resistance, as last time, to finding space for reviews.

I await the critically unbiased book and reviews.

Will you be doing the usual round of publicity interviews, shop openings etc?

Remember the advice, slaughter your children! Especially personal remarks on the motives of all fellow academics.

How would you distinguish reworked erratics from first generation erratics?
GCU:In two minds

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, very kind comments about the cover. Martin is my son -- a practitioner in Chinese medicine by profession, in Frome -- but he has an instinct for good design. He has done a few of my book covers -- the lousy ones are mine, and the smart ones are his! On this one, the photos are mone, and we worked out the concept together, and then Martin produced the final version.

I'm shunting off copies all over the place, and one hopes for reviews in papers and mags -- but it is a very hit-and-miss business.

I haven't got the resources for a big marketing campaign, but I shall do a few talks and book launches down this way around publication date.

Of course I say a few things about those who have gone before. This is not an academic paper -- it's a popular book. And what makes Stonehenge interesting is the wide range of people who have studied the old ruin and expressed their opinions about it. In previous books some quite unkind things are said about Hawley, Atkinson, Kellaway, Thom and others. There are abundant comments in the texts about what drove various earlier researchers and writers -- in other words, what their motives might have been. So I am not going to do anything that hasn't been done hundreds of times before. Where people "go beyond the evidence" (as MPP calls it) I say so, and it is perfectly within the bounds of fair comment for me to wonder why they have done it. But I try not to be unkind, and indeed my comments about certain geologists are very kind indeed..........

Erratics -- old and new. A ticklish problem which keeps me awake at night. Depends partly on context and partly on the physical appearance of the surface -- how deep a weathering crust there may be. But old and recycled erratics have not necessarily been exposed to interglacial surface weathering. If you look at my posts about Broad Haven and the super-erratics there, I did a post on two generations of erratics.