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Subtitled, ‘Life in the Era of Practical Magic,’ this book explores late mediaeval and Early Modern practices of those who used magic for practical purposes as part of everyday life.


The chapters of this book are based on the everyday problems that resulted in the use of magic during the time, with subjects ranging from the classic question of ‘How to Find Love’ to more serious undertakings such as, ‘How to Gain a Kingdom.’ Highly readable, this book introduces chapters with narrative nonfiction case studies of various events in the history of magic. The way in which Stanmore humanises the people and practices of the past demonstrate how understandable deploying the power of magic was at the time, situating the practices included in this book within the historical canon as reasonable steps in the development of society. This is both an enjoyable read, and an informative introduction to the practice of cunning folk.


Milton Keynes: The Bodley Head, 2024. Hardback, 275 pages. New.

Cunning Folk - Tabitha Stanmore