The Book of English Magic, an Unsolicited Review

Book of English Magic

The Book of English Magic

I like to look through the books in the religion and philosophy section on occasion to see if any new books on Paganism or witchcraft have been published. Most often, I’m afraid to say, I leave disappointed because sitting on the shelves are same regurgitated books that have always been sitting there. Regurgitated because the stalls of authors in the few publishing houses that publish books on Paganism and witchcraft tend to quote each other in a meaningless circle.

This book caught me by surprise. A look at the history of magic in England. I read the back cover and flipped through the table of contents.

Absolutely fascinated. I had to buy it!

England has a rich history of magical lore and practice. English authors such as J.R.R.Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, and J.K.Rowling, dominate the world of magic in fiction, but from the earliest times, England has also acted as home to generations of eccentrics and scholars who have researched and explored every conceivable kind of occult art. Most people are torn between a fascination with magic and an almost instinctive fear of the occult, of a world redolent with superstition and illusion. And yet more people now practice magic in England than at any time in her history. The Book of English Magic explores this hidden story, from its first stirrings to our present-day fascination with all things magical. Along the way readers are offered a great menu of magical things to do and places to visit.

Why you should read this book

If you have any interest at all in Paganism or magic then you want to read this book.

Philip Carr-Gomm and Richard Heygate have tracked down and gathered together information from all across England and throughout time about magic and its place in England’s history. From the mysterious peoples of long ago who built barrows and dolmans across the land to the modern neo-pagan movement, with Druids and Alchemists and Freemasons in between, magic is very much a part of England.

But don’t just take my word for it, this can be found on the back cover.

Through experiments to try and places to visit, as well as an historical exploration of magic and interviews with leading magicians, The Book of English Magic will introduce you to the extraordinary world that lies just beneath the surface of our everyday life.

UK link: The Book of English Magic


2 thoughts on “The Book of English Magic, an Unsolicited Review

  1. “Of all the countries in the world, England has the richest history of magical lore and practice.” A rather ignorant statement don’t you think? Especially since the Middle East, Africa, the Near East, etc have “rich history of magical lore and practice.” I get most of the Pagan community is in-love with Europe, but making absolute statements like this is pretty laughable all things considered.

  2. You’re right. This is a rather generalised statement. And this time I will actually go in and change it. Consider though, there were less rude and confrontational ways in which you could have gotten this point across to me without name-calling or insults.

    Obviously, these other parts of the world also have their traditions of magical lore. And, one could argue, a great deal of the cermonial magical groups to be found within England had its origins in MIddle Eastern, Egyptian, and Asian practices and traditions. (I’m thinking groups such as the OTO, Golden Dawn, Rosicrucians, and practices such as Freemasonry amongst others.)

I enjoy reading your responses, so please let me know what you think.

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