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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Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers. It brought up a few questions I would like to further investigate. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Apparently Oxford University Press decided that copy editors cost too much. Spelling errors, poor punctuation, sloppy paragraphing — they have no place in a scholarly work off this. Really excellent study on the history of magical writing. They were leather bound written with special ink onn parchment.
Like Davies’ text, it too has its weaknesses, but each book kf strengthened by the other if used together.
A Concise History from Antiquity to the Present as “an ideal companion” pages and [Note davjes. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Both types have proven remarkably resilient and adaptableand retain much of their relevance and fascination to this day. Nov 09, Steve Wiggins rated it really liked it. This is, again, probably down to levels of literacy bopks the height of the witchcraft trials. Jun 06, Alison rated it really liked it. He is said to have discovered two golden plates; the translation of the esoteric characters on them was published as The Book of Mormon.
When a French government official defiantly laid his hand on a book, whose mere grimoirws was supposed to conjure the devil, the non-appearance of Lucifer was considered evidence of the official’s skill as a secret magician.
So this is best to be read in small doses. This lowered their value even more but made them more available.
Davies is usefully corrective on one widespread assumption, derived no doubt from the lurid stories of Montague Summers and Dennis Wheatley that witchcraft and demonic grimoires were closely associated.
Davies certainly seems very loath to experiment with theory.
When defining what constitutes a “grimoire,” Davies focuses on conjuring and talismans. Bailey’s Magic and Superstition in Europe: This disturbed the catholic church and the protestants but for different reason. Then again, I’m very interested in both alchemy and the spread of magical knowledge to non-magical realms, so these worries probably better reflect my desires as a reader than the book’s shortcomings.
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. It is this blurring of fiction and folklore that fed the modern obsession grimolres witches, hisrory the “satanic abuse” of credulous social workers to Harry Potter, television series such as Charmed and the burgeoning davifs of Halloween as a festival.
Popular Magic in English History. There’s a little something for everyone who might be tempted to pick up a copy of Grimoiresand where depth has been sacrificed at least we’ve got a decent road map for further reading.
One wants to stand out from the variety of breathless, brainless exposes, after all. Get to Know Us. Grimoires shows the influence magic and magical writing has had on the cultures of the world, richly demonstrating the role they have played in the spread of Christianity, the growth of literacy, and the influence of western traditions from colonial times to grimoirfs present.
People who have used these grimoires have not had the results they were looking for. In addition to being well bound with an attractive dust jacket, Davies’ book also contains 27 illustrations, 17 plates on glossy pages, a six-page Epilogue, as well as chapter notes, an index, and a useful Further Reading section. Buy the grimoirees items together This item: By this I mean both time and book.
At times, it seems not much more than a compilation of information about these books century by century but this serves one important purpose – it strips away any notion that the bulk of these books served any other purpose than personal aggrandisement in an age of poverty and lack of welfare provision.
Since this book is written with a lay reader in mind, some topics aren’t explored as much as one might hope this doesn’t hinder the book, but it is worth pointing out for anyone interested in studying folkloric aspects of magicbut the book does have a detailed Further Reading section that lists other books that would be useful for anyone studying the history of magic with possible primary sources some titles listed magjc anthologies of Greco-Roman and Coptic sources.
Benjamin Franklin’s spoof astrological guide Poor Richard’s Almanack was circulated as the genuine esoteric article, but in fact gave a rationalist message within the magjc of a grimoire. Nov 22, Scott Ferry rated it really liked it. There are a plethora of texts mentioned, many of which I discover have been digitised, names of magicians in each period, many of whom were conmen as is to be expected and some terrific anecdotal stories of grimoire use and misuse.
A History of Pagan Witchcraft. To understand the history of grimoires is to understand the spread of Christianity, the development of early science, the cultural influence of the print revolution, the growth of literacy, the impact of colonialism, and the expansion of western cultures across the oceans. With no assistance from Lovecraft, versions of the work with bogus genealogies linking it to Mesopotamian sources then appeared. Not the most dynamically written account, but very informative and interesting.
Grimoires – Owen Davies – Oxford University Press
Mar 16, John Paterson rated it it was amazing. Hardcoverpages. Perhaps the only person in our era to have got this magical past right was that inveterate rascal Anton LaVey whose Church of Satan used the tropes of popular ‘high’ magic to sell his hedonistic mix of Californian individualism and cynicism.
And there’s plenty of good stuff in the pages of the main text: