A lively and fascinating history of magic and the occult, ranging from the earliest evidence of magical thinking in Palaeolithic cave paintings to contemporary forms of magic and Paganism. Richly illustrated with reproductions of paintings, diagrams and magical objects, the book covers a vast range of occult-related subjects, from different forms of divination, spells and incantations, to tarot, spiritualism and mesmerism, and covering traditions as diverse as shamanism, Voodoo and chaos magic. There are also potted biographies of notable magical personalities, both historical and contemporary, such as Albertus Magnus, Anton La Vey and Austin Osman Spare. Covering such a wide range of subjects, traditions and periods, the book provides brief overviews rather than in-depth treatments, making it an excellent introductory book to the vast range of magical beliefs and pursuits throughout history and in different cultures.
Christopher Dell holds a degree in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, London. He has written and edited several books on art and visual culture.
London: Thames & Hudson, 2016. Hardback with Dustjacket, 400 pages. New.