Liz Williams, a longstanding West Country pagan, brings a very welcome book, which is set be the year's bestseller Yule gift, readable, accessible and lively history the British Isles' magic from the Stone Age through to the present day. Along the way, she gives a chapter each to all the important movements: Stone age, Celts, middle ages, alchemy, angel magic, grimoires, witch hunts; from there we lead into the modern era, with its romantic poets, ceremonial magicians, cunning folk, Aleister Crowley, Druid revivers and Wiccan promulgators. The research is careful and accurate, but worn lightly, and it's truly a fun read. It's the ideal book to give the person who asks, 'what's magic in Britain all about, then?'
Ronald Hutton says of it, ‘At last, we have a history of British Paganism written from the inside, by somebody who not only has a good knowledge of the sources, but explicitly understands how Pagans and magicians think.’
London, Reaktion Books, 2020. Hardback. 326 pp + 11 pp references and bibliography.