Blood of the Celts

Blood of the Celts

The New Ancestral Story

  1. Jean Manco
  • ISBN 9780500051832
  • 23.40 x 15.60 cm
  • Hardback
  • 240pp
  • Illustrated in colour and black and white with maps
  • First published 2015
‘A fresh and challenging look at the story of the Celts’ – Family Tree
‘A breath of fresh air applied to an overworked subject. Jean Manco’s book is thoughtful, thought-provoking, erudite yet accessible, with an engaging style.... The discussion of current DNA research is what gives this book a particular originality and edge. Where it challenges either long-held or more recent dogmatisms, it does so with grace and sensitivity.’– Miranda Aldhouse-Green, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, Cardiff University


‘Jean Manco is a phenomenon. In 'Blood of the Celts' she sieves the swirling murk of academic specialisms (linguistics, literature, genetics and archaeology) to extract the gold. Once again she proves to be an excellent interpreter of interesting times.’– David Miles, Former Chief Archaeologist, English Heritage

New discoveries in genetics have overturned the dogma of decades about the Celts. Today Celtic languages cling to life on the northwestern fringes of Europe. In the pre-Roman past Celtic was spoken across the continent and the heritage of the Celts turns up from Portugal to Romania, from Scotland to Spain. Earlier attempts to trace historical and prehistoric movements using only modern DNA from living people have been proved dramatically wrong by findings from ancient DNA.

Debate continues about who were the Celts, where they came from, and whether the modern Celtic-speakers of the British Isles and Brittany are related to the Continental Celts we know from ancient history. So a fresh approach is needed. Blood of the Celts meets this challenge in an accessible and illuminating way.

Jean Manco, author of the acclaimed genetic history of Europe, Ancestral Journeys, has written a vivid and compelling account that takes the reader from the origins of the ancient Celts to the modern Celtic Revival. What emerges may seem startling.

As long as any Celtic language is still spoken, the linguistic chain remains unbroken. As long as the earliest Celts have living heirs, there is also an unbroken chain of DNA. Blood of the Celts will be essential reading for anyone interested in their Celtic ancestry and also for everyone fascinated by the Celts and their world.

Jean Manco is the author of Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings, published by Thames & Hudson in 2013. This ground-breaking work made accessible to the general reader the revolution in archaeology, historical studies and genealogy now that theories can be directly tested by investigating the DNA not only of living people, but also of those long past.


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