The Northern Dawn – Stephen Edred Flowers (2017)

Flowers (aka Thorsson) (1953-) is a controversial writer. He is a graduate is Germanic and Celtic philology and has a Ph.D. in Germanic languages and medieval studies. Also he has decades of experience in the field, but studious and practical. That should make him very able to write a book like this, should he not?

Many people seem unable to see that apart from Flowers’ other interests. He follows the “left hand path”, is and has been involved in several organisations, some of which have eye-brow-raising elements. Part of his Germanic approach is rune-magic and does he lean towards a certain kind of politics?

In connection with the latter, I find the cover design unfortunate. Since I do not judge a book by the cover or the interests of the author outside the subject of the book, I was interested to see what Flowers would have to say about “A History of the Reawakening of the Germanic Spirit”.

Well, I have read some American publications about the Germanic past, but Flowers’ books is probably one of the better. Finally we have an author who can read German (and a host of other languages) and refers to classic works in this language about our subject. The book is even structured somewhat like the 1800’s books starting with an overview different approaches of investigation to continue with elements of the subject at hand.

Flowers’ book gives a fair idea of what is available on the subject from the last centuries and how his posits himself in the tradition of investigations. He is also clear about the fact that -even though part of one family- the pre-Christian tradition of ancient nowadays Germany is not exactly the same as that of Iceland. Also he shoves away some of the ever pertaining idea that there are no sources besides the Icelandic and he is not wholly negative about Christianity. As a matter of fact, the thesis is that Christianity was ‘Germanised’ by the Franks before it reached Northern Europe and then some more by the cultures it encountered. One of the ideas in the book is that thanks to Christianity, much of the old religion has been saved. Flowers even speaks of continuity.

The book is well written, it reads easily. The reawakening red threat is a bit too red here and there, but I find this book an excellent starting book for people interested in the subject, but unable to read other languages than English. (Much better than the Hasenfratz book that Michael Moyhnihan translated too.) You will get many references to older and newer other works, old and new theories to compare and a twist of the author. And no, the other subjects that Flowers writes about are no part of this book and why should they?

It is just a bit short. Just 200 pages.

2017 Arcana Europa, isbn 0972029281

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