London: Michael Houghton, 1949. Hardback with dustjacket, 352 pages. Very Scarce.
High Magic’s Aid is a classic novel of witchcraft discovery from the pen of Gerald Gardner, often called the ‘father’ of modern witchcraft. Set in the 11th century, it is the story of three men who desire fame and fortune, and in doing so, must seek out the mysterious Witch of Wanda, and through her, come to an understanding of the true workings of the art of magic. Written at a time before England’s anti-witchcraft laws were abolished, Gardner deliberately hid much of the secret lore of witchcraft and magic in this fictional account, and the novel features many fragments of ritual and method which readers of magical texts and Gardner’s later work will recognise. The novel clearly demonstrates the attitude of the church to pagan survival, and demonstrates the depth of Gardner’s knowledge of magic, occultism and folklore.
High Magic’s Aid was originally published by Michael Houghton, the owner of The Atlantis Bookshop. The endpapers of this first edition are illustrated with graphics of magical seals and circles, and the author is given as ‘SCRIRE’. O.T.O 4=7. Condition is excellent, apart from a small tear near the lower edge of the dustjacket and some slight bending on the cover edges. The dustjacket has been glasseen-wrapped to prevent further wear.