'That The Green Man is central to so many carvings and pictures in both religious and secular settings is well known. His (or indeed her!) ubiquitous presence has been well documented and theorised about in many books, especially since 1939 when Lady Raglan famously coined the original term whilst at Llangwm Church. Richard Hayman has made an excellent contribution to our wealth and increasing knowledge concerning these curious, lovable and “conundrumic” faces. His scholarship and knowledge of so many aspects of his research into the architectural history of churches and other buildings have blended together to give his readers considerable insight into the nature, role, background and history of such carved faces.
He has published other books on “Wrought Iron” and “Church Misericords and Bench Ends” which have been widely and popularly acclaimed. His latest work reflects his keen studious and pragmatic analysis and rationalisation of “The Green Man” phenomenon.
From its origins and working definitions, the book progresses from its presence in Romanesque Churches, Gothic Architecture and Church Furnishings to Post-Reformation appearances in Victorian buildings. The recent cult and popularity of The Green Man Festival at Clun and many other May-time folkloric events is also covered.
He provides an excellent further reading section but as with so many other Green Man books, there is a huge problem in creating an accurate full set of suggestions of places to visit. Perhaps the bedrock and definitive directory of Green Man sites has been provided by Clive Hicks?
The book is robust, has high quality photographs and easy text to read. Its size and popularity will be undoubtedly guaranteed.
My congratulations go to Richard Hayman. Long may he provide us with insights into other religious, secular and mythical curiosities!'
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