Thor Ewing









Writer & Historian



Coming soon (due 2018) . . .
a new edition of John Rastell’s A Hundred Merry Tales

First published in 1525-6, the earliest English jest book was an acknowledged classic of Tudor literature, and was even name-checked by Shakespeare. This new edition is the first ever to draw on all surviving early copies, and to include the complete selection of 103 tales.

From its first beginnings in a world of primordial ice floes, the story of the Viking gods is one of continual struggle against etins and monsters, but it is a tale of humour and triumph as well as of grit and tragedy. The Norse myths are justly famous for a host of vivid characters including the wise and enigmatic Odin, the bluff strongman Thor, and the incorrigible trickster Loki.

In the first major retelling for a generation, storyteller and historian Thor Ewing rediscovers the brisk vitality with which these ancient myths were told in the earliest sources.

With 45 stunning b&w illustrations inspired by Viking art.

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  The Erracht Feud 
Bloodfeud was built into the structure of society in sixteenth-century Scotland, and feuding was governed by its own rules.

This book examines a turbulent and much misunderstood period in Clan Cameron
s history, when rival factions vied for power through bloodfeud. In this new study, Ewing leads the reader on a detective journey through the maze of historical evidence to the heart of a complex and fascinating story of a sixteenth-century Scottish family quarrel.

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What was paganism really like? Who were the gods and how were they worshipped?

Gods and Worshippers explores ancient cult sites and religious gatherings, as well as burial customs and the rites of the dead, and it reveals the intimate links between religious and secular power. Using the surviving archaeological evidence as well as the recorded myths and poetry from the various regions, Ewing explores the realities of day-to-day worship, such as sacrifices and sacred space, as well as arguing that traditional magical-religious societies operated in parallel to mainstream society, according to their own distinctive morality and laws.

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The Vikings had a surprising reputation for neatness, and their fashions were copied far beyond the realms of Scandinavia. Those who could displayed a love of fine clothes made from silks, from lightweight worsteds in subtly woven twills, and from the finest of linens. They wore short hair, and their beards were carefully trimmed.

This accessible new book is the first to tackle the question of what the Vikings wore, drawing on evidence from art and archaeology, literature and linguistics to arrive at a fresh understanding of the nature of Viking clothing, covering rich and poor, men and women across Scandinavia.

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The Wisdom of the Celts presents new translations from medieval Welsh and Irish manuscripts on the theme of wisdom. On each page, a single verse is beautifully presented, with an illuminated initial.

This collection brings together ancient texts for the first time, in a unique combination of timeless wisdom and sublime poetry inspired by the natural world. Texts are chosen from proverbial lists of Threes (or ‘Triads’) found in Irish manuscripts, and from the poems of The Red Book of Hergest (the Mabinogion manuscript). Translations include thirty Irish Threes and three longer Welsh sequences, Bagla6c bydin (translated as ‘Close-set’), Gna6t (translated as ‘Usual’) and Eiry mynyd (translated as ‘Snow on the fells’). An Afterword looks at the nature of Celtic poetry and art, and tackles the vexed question of the Celts in British and Irish history.
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A unique treasure trove of traditional Scottish nursery rhymes, containing more than 100 rhymes along with their music.
All songs are presented in regularized modern Scots spelling, with a comprehensive Glossary as well as Notes and Introduction.

The book includes 84 vintage black-&-white illustrations.

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  50 Classic Poems Every Boy Should Know 
Too many boys think poetry is all flowers and fairies.
Drawing on a thousand years of English literature, these are poems which have thrilled and stirred the blood of generations of boys and men.

includes poems by Tennyson, Byron, Shakespeare, Dryden, Chaucer, Burns, Keats and many more
edited by Thor Ewing


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  Visions of Alba: Scenes from Scotland's History 
A sequence of twelve 60-word poems, each of which distills a moment when Scotland's fate hung in the balance - a turning point in history.
Brief notes are provided for readers who want to learn more about the historical context of these Visions of Alba.