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The Book of English Magic


The Book of English Magic

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    Available in PDF Format | The Book of English Magic.pdf | English
    Richard Heygate(Author) Philip Carr-Gomm(Author)

Of all the countries in the world, England has the richest 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 rich menu of magical things to do and places to visit.

'A user-friendly primer...a magical mystery tour, for readers who want to get a little deeper into magic, there are well informed suggestions' (The Times)'Witchcraft and magic have never been more popular, and England is its global epicentre...a fabulous array. Fun, best of all is the end' (The Daily Express)'A new book celebrates the growing witchcraft, spells, potions and the spirit world' (The Daily Express)'Darkly glittery package for this survey of mysterious England, the country with the richest history of magical lore and practice in the world' (Bookseller)'Should be a wizard read' (Birmingham Post)'A giddying tour of a hidden history and an occult present' (Books Quarterly)'A positive cornucopia of magic that's sure to cast a spell over you!' (Lancashire Evening Post)'An astonishing and entertaining book' (Northern Echo)'Well-read, tolerant, perceptive and reader-friendly' (John Billingsley, Northern Earth)' Large, cheerful, handsome book...the tone is unflaggingly open-minded ' (Times Literary Supplement)'Bright and Encouraging' (The Magic Circular)'A treasure trove of magical lore' (The Observer)'The authors of this fascinating book aim to introduce readers to the secret history of English occult arts' (Books Quarterly)'Whatever you may think, it seems that there are more wizards practising than ever before. We meet some of them in this surprising book. And the authors suggest visiting the sites, such as Stonehenge and Mother Shipton's Yorkshire cave, which retain magical properties. Meanwhile it's a help to mug up a bit of astrology (and Druid lore) if you really want to be au fait'- (Sunday Telegraph)'A fascinating guide to the evolution of English magic. From magic wands to ley lines, each chapter introduces a different aspect of all things enchanting. Complete with interviews with magicians and suggestions for spells' (Daily Express)There are many rational reasons not to go beyond the first chapter. But if you don't you will never know how English witches- using a fridge, a doll, some string and (doubtless) a lot of nudity- tried to stop Saddam Hussein massacring the Kurds. You will not read an interview with a modern-day Welsh alchemist, or learn about an Elizabethan forebear who convinced his wife that, for the sake of his magic, she needed to become a swinger. Most of all you will miss out on the step-by-step guides: to dowsing, to creating your own philosopher's stone and to casting your own love spell ("think carefully about unintended consequences")'-­­­­­­ (The Times)I cannot praise this book enough both for its content and its style... it is excellent value. Highly recommended and enjoyable - a book I shall keep close by my desk for reference (

3.2 (3390)
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Review Text

  • By samwitch on 4 August 2017

    If you are in anyway curious as to our traditions, superstitions and UK heritage this is a fascinating and truly enlightening book to read.

  • By Gemma on 15 August 2017

    Good, but a little work on the editing would make this a better read. Informative, but more on modern English magic than I expected

  • By CCET on 4 March 2017

    Love the item came quick thank you 😊

  • By Barry Cooper on 7 May 2012

    This book has reawakened my long-standing interest in the subject and brought it up to date, as all of the books I've read were written before the Eighties. It's a comprehensive overview and therefore necessarily a bit shallow, but there are plenty of recommendations for further reading.I must make a few minor negative comments, though.- Some of the web links no longer work (but I suppose this is to be expected in a book that's a few years old).- I don't like the typography of the pages by "guest" contributors; these are in faint grey print and uncomfortable to read.- The authors have some strange ideas about Freemasonry, which is not at all magical, at least for members of the degrees recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England. And where on Earth did the authors get the idea that Freemasons carry a magic wand in their cases? As Masonry is based on the stonemason's trade, all symbolical tools used are connected with that. The only "wands" in a lodge are the wands of office carried by certain officers, and those are about six feet long and nothing like a magician's wand.

  • By Mr. S. K. Davies on 23 June 2012

    This is an excellent book - a must-have for anyone interested in magic and an excellent starting point for finding out more about different magical viewpoints.I found this book - with its brief "dip" into all types of english magic leads the reader to think about what type of magician they should be and gives great guidance on the next steps.So - a great read and a springboard for further reading, direction and study. Why can't all books on magic be this good?

  • By Alfred Douglas on 12 July 2009

    The authors have clearly put a lot of work into this handsomely produced book. For anyone seeking an overview of the magical scene in England past and present it will prove invaluable. Unusually, it doesn't just look at the past. A large part of the book is given over to interviews with present-day magical workers, including links to where they can be contacted. So for anyone seeking a path this would be a good place to start. Also, topics are approached from more than one angle. For example, the 43-page chapter entitled 'The Queen's Astrologer' looking at the Angelic magic of Dr. John Dee, begins with an 11-page summary of Dee's life and work, followed by explanations and interviews with Dee authorities including Robin Cousins, Stephen Skinner, and Rufus Harrington. Finally, it places Dee in historical context with an account of Renaissance astrological magic.The Book of English Magic is most impressive, though with a volume of this size and covering such a wide range of topics, some errors are sure to creep in. For instance, there are one or two incorrect references in the section devoted to Madeline Montalban and ourselves. Rick Hayward, who helped Madeline run her school of magic from 1967, is quoted as saying "... soon found a job with Prediction magazine as an astrologer". Rick in reality inherited Madeline's position as astrologer on Prediction after she died in 1982. Also, the book states that Madeline's real name was Dolores North. She was born Madeline Royals and became Madeline North when she married in 1939. Presumably 'Dolores North' came from Gerald Gardner, who referred to her as such, and must have been one of the pseudonyms she used at the time they met. She did write under various pen names in the late '40s, including the name 'Dolores del Castro'.More seriously, there is one story on page 484 that is total fiction. The authors describe rituals carried out in a temple in a house in Whitby and at Boggle Hole in 1970. Those involved apparently were Ray Sherwin, Jo Sheridan, Alfred Douglas and Lionel Snell (Ramsey Dukes). In fact Jo and I had no connection with Whitby in 1970. We bought a house in Whitby in November 1971, but it was in such a poor state of repair that we weren't able to move in until February 1975. We sold the house in 1981. There was never a temple there and we practised no group rituals. Our house was used as a retreat from London where we could get on with our writing. Nothing more. We have never met Ray Sherwin or Lionel Snell. The only person we knew in Whitby with any connection to magic was a chap named Bernie who ran an occult supplies business called Starchild.This is how myths get started: "Oh yes, Jo Sheridan and Alfred Douglas used to dance around Boggle hole with Lionel Snell and Ray Sherwin, trying to raise magical power". I've heard of Boggle Hole but we never went there. As for dancing round until exhausted - definitely not our style. Who started this tale, I wonder? Possibly someone who knew of magic being practised in Whitby in 1970, saw from the blurb on our books that we had a house in Whitby in the '70s, added two and two together and came up with five.However, this should not distract from a fine book that will surely find a place on every magician's bookshelf.

  • By Gladys on 23 January 2013

    An interesting book which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. It has a lot of history of witchcraft, paganism and celtic beliefs as well as Druidry. There are lots of resources and ideas to further investigate the ideas and history, both online resources and books as well as ideas for visits throughout the UK. From reading this book I have developed an interest in Druidery which I am pursuing further. A great book that will be of interest to people of all paths.

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