About this item

This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the extensive and complex story of witchcraft and magic. Beginning with the invention of writing in the ancient world, the author explores a wide range of magical beliefs and practices, the rise of the witch trials, and the depiction of the Devil-worshipping witch. The book also covers the more recent history of witchcraft and magic, from the Enlightenment to the present, exploring the rise of modern magic, the anthropology of magic around the globe, and finally the cinematic portrayal of witches and magicians, from The Wizard of Oz to Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Harry Potter.

About the Author

Owen Davies

Owen Davies is a reader in Social History at the University of Hertfordshire. His main field of research is on the history of modern and contemporary witchcraft and magic. His interest in the history of witchcraft and magic developed out of a childhood interest in folklore and mythology, which was spawned in part from reading the books of Alan Garner. From around the age of sixteen, he also became interested in archaeology and began to get involved with field-walking and earthwork surveying. He then went on to study archaeology and history at Cardiff University and he spent many weeks over the next six years helping excavate Bronze Age and Neolithic sites in France and England, mostly in the area around Avebury. He developed a strong interest in archaeology in general, and the ritual monuments and practices of the Neolithic and Bronze Age. From Cardiff, he went on to write a doctorate at Lancaster University, working on a thesis looking at the continuation and decline of popular belief in witchcraft and magic from the Witchcraft Act 1735 to the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 (1991-1994) .

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