Early Peoples of Britain and Ireland
An Encyclopedia
by Christopher A. Snyder, ed. and author
October 2008, 750pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-84645-009-9
$201, £155, 175€, A276

A comprehensive A-Z encyclopedia of the important figures, peoples, places, themes issues and events of Britain and Ireland from the Neolithic period to AD 1154.

This period of British history saw dramatic social, political, and cultural changes, characterized by the great movement of peoples. The Stone Age peoples, Bronze Age peoples, Celts, Scots, Picts, Irish, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Danes and Normans all arrived, settled, and (to some degree) intermingled. Each of these peoples has a complex history partly separate and partly shared, sometimes obscure, sometimes distorted in the popular imagination, and the purpose of the encyclopedia is to both highlight specific details and clarify the overall picture.

The geographic scope of the encyclopedia is Britain and Ireland, and chronologically covers everything from the Neolithic period to 1154. A section of longer essays on key themes is followed by an A-Z section of shorter entries on specific topics. Entries vary in length from about 400 words to about 7,500 words. Each entry includes a brief bibliography. This encyclopedia will be a useful reference for nearly every level of research, from general background information on a select topic for the lay reader to the latest and best research and historiographic trends for advanced researchers


"This set is recommended to academic and public libraries needing reference material on the early history of the British Isles."—ARBA, March 1, 2009

"This encyclopedia seems to be unique in its coverage of anything British or Irish from around the Stone Age to 1154, the beginning of the Plantagenet reign in Britain. ... Though the encyclopedia overlaps with Medieval England: An Encyclopedia (1998) and Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia (2005), both published by Garland, it has a different chronological range. Moreover, it offers another perspective by examining both Britain and Ireland together. Recommended for academic and large public libraries."—Booklist, March 15, 2009

"… [O]ffers another perspective by examining both Britain and Ireland together. Recommended for academic and large libraries."—Booklist, January 15, 2009

"…[M]arshalling over 500 alphabetical entries by 62 contributors, about half of them American, the other half British (many from Lampeter University), with a smattering of Dutch Irish and Canadian… there are good individual entries for example Aidan O'Sullivan's long entry on prehistoric and early medieval houses, or good summaries, for example by John Collins on aspects of the Iron Age. Commendable as it is to take the long view and expose student[s] to early historic periods to prehistory."—New Book Chronicle, March 1, 2009
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