Rochester, Inner Traditions: 2013. Paperback, vii+264 pages. New.
Subtitled The Secret Grammar of Magic, The Book of Grimoires is a comprehensive study of ancient books of magic and the principles of medieval magical practice. Author Claude Lecouteux explains key features of traditional western magic such as the doctrine of names and signatures and the magical laws of sympathy and contagion, as well as rituals of healing, protection, and love magic. He also provides a concise history of the Western Esoteric Tradition, with attention to key figures such as Albertus Magnus and Hermes Trismegistus, and gives fascinating examples of magical alphabets and scripts. With extensive notes and bibliography, The Book of Grimoires is an excellent introduction to the kinds of magical operation and principles which can be found in the magical grimoires of the medieval period and how they informed the folk magical traditions of Europe.