RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

20 February 2007

Lady with a Mead Cup. Ritual, Prophecy and Lordship in the European Warband from La Téne to the Viking Age


Michael Enright. LADY WITH A MEAD CUP. RITUAL PROPHECY AND LORDSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN WARBAND FROM LA TENE TO THE VIKING AGE. Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1995.

Current Selling Prices
$350-$750 /£200-£400 ISBN 1851821880




MEDIAEVAL HISTORY
Celtic influence on Teutonic culture; scholarly work without 'New Age' or 'Goddess' trappings - odd that it is so much wanted -- possibly it's on college reading lists. 'This title is currently out of stock' is the notice at the Four Courts website. Their puff for the book goes:-
Lady with a Mead Cup is a broad-ranging, innovative and strikingly original study of the early medieval barbarian cup-offering ritual and its social, institutional and religious significance. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology and philology and medieval history, Professor Enright has produced the first work in English on the warband and on the significance of barbarian drinking rituals. Taking Beowulf as his point of departure, he studies the place of these rituals in the Germanic warband, their importance in terms of status creation, and the role of women in their administration.
They also quote a pertinent review-'Enright goes further than most authors in terms of both scope and detail, tracing the role of the lord's female companion back to the beginning of La Téne culture ... What eventually emerges is a surprisingly consistent picture of the leader and his lady in whom we find much of the ritual and prophecy of the book's title' J.A. Tasioulas, Medium Aoeum. Last year we bought a few boxes of books published by this expensive and estimable Irish scholarly press and they went, as they say in Canada, 'like snow off a dike.' I trust the lady with the cup was not among them!

VALUE? There were several used copies at Amazon between $300 and $500 about 9 months ago. They have all sold and only one remains at a slightly barking $1600. They have managed to find that grail of buffoon booksellers - the price at which no one will buy the book. Possibly if Robbie Williams or Donald 'Badhair' Trump suddenly get interested in La Tene it will sell. Before the net when booksellers had to price by instinct a bookseller might put £30 on this max, half of its putative in print price. I suspect that copies come and go against the madhatter price possibly for as much as $800. It will probably get reprinted at some point, the author himself is quoted as saying it is not worth more than $200. [Want level 25-50 Highish ]
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