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Of all the countries in the world, England has the richest history of magical lore and practice.
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.
Author: Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate
Every page of this insightful book is full of little nuggets that capture and retain the readers interest in magic.
Its full of stories, biographies, illustrations that accompany the text, as well as activities and further sources to entice every curious reader. The book contains points on the most notable figures and subjects throughout magic history, such as, Dr. John Dee, Alistair Crowley and legends of Merlin, King Arthur and the Holy Grail and Excalibur as well as Wicca, Grimoires, Alchemy and Cunning Folk. There is certainly something for everyone as this book is written in a manner that speaks to every person, which could possibly seem like generic history and theory, however it is cleverly and beautifully written that it doesn't appear that way. Its accessible, understandable and made to be relatable. Reading the "things to do" sections actually promote the readers imagination and desire to go out and take part in these activities such as scrying, working with herbs, practicing your own alchemy and creating your astrological chart. They range from casting simple spells to walking in nature in search for resources which were used throughout time, as well as visiting notorious sites and museums. There are also sections of recollections and accounts of individuals in the book that are written in first person to allow the reader to sink more in the text and go on a journey of understanding and magic making.
It's certainly nothing short of exciting, compelling and entertaining! Absolutely worth a read even if you're not into the subject as it will certainly make you!
Review by Stella (Visitor Operations Assistant)