What is a grimoire? The word has a familiar ring to many people, particularly as a consequence of such popular television dramas as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But the grimoire represents much more than just magic. As this book richly demonstrates, the history of grimoires illuminates many of the most. Review: Grimoires: A History of Magic Books by Owen DaviesJad Adams finds a mixture of the sacred and profane in books of spells.

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Lovecraft, Satan, and Shadows 9. Popular Magic in English History.

An alternative may be to permit a degree of healthy irrationalism within a culture based on communication and general welfare where grimoires as symptom have no cause to be used for fraud or criminality because their function has changed. I recently read yistory history of the occult in America, but this daviea talked about things I hadn’t read about — mainly the African-American tradition, and the effects of American and European grimoires on places like Nigeria and Argentina.

The influence of the specialist publisher Delaurence on the creation of new religious forms in the Caribbean and Africa whose antiquity has probably been much exaggerated would be worth an anthropological study in its own right. See and discover other items: AS a result books themselves regardless of subject matter were considered magical. If I could have given more than five ggimoires I would have.

Highly recommended for anyone into magic or the history of books. One person found this helpful. While this does limit the depth of analysis given to any of the material, the text is bolstered by extensive endnotes which make it or worth the attention of any scholar investigating the topic. Magical sub-cultures emerged that were both proponents of sometimes unutterable nonsense and the basis of a culture of hiatory to a non-inclusive high culture that had nothing to say to the poor and uneducated.


You could scarcely blame a witch of sorcery by grimoire if she could not read or write. Maybe the Norwegian settlers who came to Iceland from the late ninth century onwards brought with them strong elements of the male shamanic cultures of the Saami, which continued to shape the magical tradition of Finland and northern Scandinavia into the early modern period. Epilogue Further Reading Notes Index.

Still, I give it five stars because I found it fascinating. From this perspective, the leap of faith made by Chaos Magicians magi are just playing with belief quite knowinglyWiccans who, oc fact, are honest that each text is personal and to be recast by every practitioner in the light of their own needs and Satanists who have no illusions that LaVey wrote their text and know full well that Satan does not exist gooks less absurd than that of their rivals.

Grimoires: A History of Magic Books: Owen Davies: : Books

A really good read for anyone interested in the history of magical books. Of particular interest to me was the section on American contributions –in particular his section on rogue publisher L.

Here, the narrative starts to strengthen, especially with the narrative of migrant and former slave use of grimoires that really requires yet another historian to interpret, perhaps more theoretically. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. If there are worrying gaps in the familiar information, how do I know the same is not true of the unfamiliar?

Magic moments

The text reads like a second draft — mostly comprehensible, but filled with small errors that together add up to a big problem. Share your thoughts with other customers.

Threaded throughout is the really satisfying theme that although so much magic is rooted in falsehood and myth-making, those foundational lies somehow matter very little to anyone drawn to the subject.

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Owens did some great research into DeLaurence’s life and works and i would love it if he expanded that section into a full biography of the eccentric hypnotist who became the true proselytizer of the occult to American, Caribbean and African audiences. At their most benign, these repositories of forbidden knowledge revealed how to make powerful talismans and protective amulets, and provided charms and conjurations for healing illness, finding love, and warding off evil.

His previous books include The Haunted: The author takes us via Islamic magical practices in Moorish Spain, Toledo specifically through the European continent at the time of the printing press which democratised grimoire ownership and across the world to the Caribbean, Latin America and United States.

A thoroughly Western literary form appears to have assisted in constructing new forms of religion on a basis of inherited tribal magic and cultural dislocation. Around trials are known to have occurred in this former Danish territory, and nearly a third of them involved grimoires, written spells, or runes and symbols derived from them.

One common theme from earliest times davjes quite recently has been the use of such texts to discover treasure by calling up demons and dark spirits and then binding and interrogating them to reveal it. Manuscripts got mangled, attributed inappropriately, given antiquities gistory do not stand up to scrutiny.

A Witch’s Handbook from the trial records of the Venetian Inquisition. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This disturbed the catholic church and the protestants but for different reason. Do you believe in magic? Apparently Oxford University Press decided that copy editors cost too much.