The Once and Future Celt: 12/05/08
In April of 1971, Bill Watkins set off for England from Scotland on foot. He missed his train and after a run in with a dog ended up with an injured foot in the middle of nowhere. He ended up in the care of a group of Romany (Gypsies). The Once and Future Celt by Bill Watkins covers his time in the Romany camp and his return home as a man changed by his experience.
The Once and Future Celt happens to cover many of the same locations, cultural practices and legends that Molly Dwyer focuses on in Requiem for the Author of Frankenstein. Watkins as a native Briton (of Irish / Welsh ancestry) is able to capture the regional differences with realism, heart and humor. He doesn't feel the need to go into lengthy explanations, relying instead on context and a brief glossary at the start of the memoir. I loved reading his dialogue because I could hear the different personalities and I ended up learning a whole bunch in the process (even though I had to stop every now and then to giggle).
Wakins's most recent memoir is the conclusion of a trilogy of memoirs. The previous two are A Celtic CHildhood and Scotland Is Not for the Squeamish. Having so enjoyed his latest one, I would love to go back and read them.
Wonderful review. This book is on my TBR and I entered your lovely contest.
Comment #2: Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 15:16:51
I'm glad you enjoyed the review.