Professor Ronald Hutton (born 1954) is a professor of History at the University of Bristol, author, and occasional commentator on British television and radio. His specialties are the 17th century and the history of paganism in the British Isles.
Hutton was born to a Neopagan
mother, and it is partially for this reason that he has written various books on the subject.
Hutton attended Ilford County High School in the 1960s and 1970s, going on to win a scholarship to study history at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Hutton's areas of specialization include the history of the British Isles
in the sixteenth
centuries, especially on the Reformation, Civil Wars, Restoration
and Charles II
. He has also written on ancient and medieval paganism
, and on witchcraft
beliefs and shamanism
In three books, he studied the development of the ritual year
in Britain, exploring many myths about the antiquity of festivals and practices. His book Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft
examined the development of Wicca
and the context in which it formed. He questioned many assumptions about its development and argued that many of the claimed connections to longstanding hidden pagan traditions are questionable at best. However, he also argued for its importance as a genuine new religious movement
His latest work is on the origins of modern Druidry and how the modern Druid movement emerged in history, which revises the older historical accounts sympathetically, explaining why modern druidry was so important to its founders, and is still popular today. Part of this material was given as the first lecture of the Mount Haemus Award series.
16th & 17th Century
- Charles the Second, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, (1989), ISBN 0-19-822911-9
- The British Republic 1649-1660, (2000), ISBN 0-333-91324-8
- The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year 1400-1700, (2001), ISBN 0-19-285447-X
- Debates in Stuart History, (2004), ISBN 1-4039-3589-0
Paganism and Magic
- The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy, (1993), ISBN 0-631-18946-7, an overview of all the pagan peoples of pre-Christian Britain and Ireland.
- The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, (1996), ISBN 0-19-285448-8
- The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft, (2001), ISBN 0-19-285449-6, a history of the neopagan religion of Wicca.
- Shamans: Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination, (2001), ISBN 1852853247, a look at Siberian shamanism.
- Witches, Druids and King Arthur, (2003), ISBN 1-85285-397-2, a collection of essays on various topics.
- The Druids: A History, (2007), ISBN 978-1852855338, a history of the Druids, from the historical Celtic priests to the Neo-druidry of the 20th century.
Reviews and assessment
- Barry Collett, Review of Stations of the Sun, Sixteenth Century Journal, 29/1 (1998): 241-243.
- Christopher W. Marsh, Review of Stations of the Sun, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 50 (1999): 133-135.
- Jonathan Roper, Review of Shamans, Folklore, April 2005,
- Chas S. Clifton, Review of Witches, Druids and King Arthur, The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, 7/1 (2005): 101-103.
- History Today review by Christopher Chippindale of The Pagan Religions Of The Ancient British Isles (1992)
- Hill, Dr. J. D. (2004) A Reply to Ronald Hutton’s Commentary ‘What did Happen to Lindow Man?’ TLS Jan 30th Sent to The Times Literary Supplement 2004-02-07. (Hutton's original article available here)
- A review of Ronald Hutton's The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles by Max Dashu, 1998. Last accessed 21 March 2007.
- Margaret Murray and the Distinguished Professor Hutton by Jani Farrell-Roberts: originally published as The Great Debate by Farrell-Roberts and Hutton in The Cauldron, 2003.
- Long, Asphodel P. (1992) Review of "The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles", Wood and Water 39, Summer 1992.
- Barrett, David V, 21/07/2007, The Independent. Book review: The Druids: A History
- Hutton, Ronald, 01/12/1996, history.ac.uk, Review of The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations.