An Excellent Booke of the Arte of Magicke (HB) - Legard and Cummins
This long-awaited book offers a peep through the keyhole of Tudor English magical practice. It gives a full transcription of a book of the 1567 workings of one Humphrey Gilbert and his scryer John Davis, in which they summoned demons and spirits, commanded them, and noted their results ('Excellent Booke and Visions', ff.47r–62v from Add. ms. 36674). The reader is treated to a colour facsimile, followed by modernised and diplomatic transcriptions. The book also gives a further three related texts: a necromantic graveyard ritual, a scrying procedure, and a work of necromantic and treasure hunting rites.
The second part of the book is made up of essays. Phil Legard provides a reflective analysis of Gilbert's and Davis' magic. Dr Alexander Cummins gives three essays. First is a survey early modern necromancy. Second is an article on scrying techniques of the era. Third is a thoughtful look at tutelary shades, or dead magicians as mentors.
The handsome limited hardback edition is limited to 1200 copies. It is bound in fine black cloth emblazoned with a gilt shield bearing seven keyholes, with blackened edges, textured green endpapers and a black ribbon.