What is a grimoire? The word has a familiar ring to many people, particularly as a consequence of such popular television dramas as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But the grimoire represents much more than just magic. As this book richly demonstrates, the history of grimoires illuminates many of the most. Review: Grimoires: A History of Magic Books by Owen DaviesJad Adams finds a mixture of the sacred and profane in books of spells.

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More could perhaps have been written by Davies on the attitudes of the authorities in modernising America who seem, sensibly, to have seen grimoire production as a branch of fraud, precursors to much modern ‘new age’ nonsense, rather than as some boks of a more fundamental kind.

If I could have given more than five stars I would have. After the reader reaches the grioires centuries, it becomes an easier read. Grimoires and magic would later go through more changes as groups like the Golden Dawn would use them not as a basis for results based magic but rather for spiritual developement. But far too often the book confines itself to dry recitation, with precious little analysis on offer to enliven the proceedings or put the mass of facts in context.

It brought up a few questions I would like to further investigate. From this perspective, the leap of faith made by Chaos Hkstory who are just playing with belief quite knowinglyWiccans who, in fact, are honest that each text is personal and to be recast by every practitioner in the light of their own needs and Satanists who have no illusions that LaVey wrote their text and know full well that Satan does not exist seems less absurd than that of their rivals.

Any person with the power to interpret the book can decide their own destiny in terms of sex, power and spirit which is a standing challenge to all established priests, experts and intellectuals. The influence of the specialist publisher Delaurence on the creation of new religious forms in the Caribbean and Africa whose antiquity has probably been much exaggerated would be worth an anthropological study in its own right.

Grimoires: A History of Magic Books by Owen Davies

The shaman connection may have some mileage, but Iceland’s magic was based much more on literary magic than that of the ‘shamanistic’, magci traditions of Finland. I found this book very educational and informational.


Nov 03, Thomas rated it liked it. When defining what constitutes a “grimoire,” Davies focuses on conjuring and talismans. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Ancient and Medieval Grimoires 2. Really excellent study on the history of magical writing. There’s enough here for the hardcore occultists, the western culture scholars, the research geeks and the book lovers by that meaning people who really love books.

I will say a thank you, however, for those plates. A top-notch primer on an anthropological approach to the study of magic and its history through artifacts like grimoires. A thoroughly Western literary form appears to have assisted in constructing new forms of religion on a basis of inherited tribal magic and cultural dislocation.

Baily, Iowa State University “Davies’ book is indeed a remarkable accumulation of exotic data Davies makes one very profound point – perhaps his only attempt at deep analysis in a largely narrative history. The second is that most grimoires are not in the least bit factual. The quality of much of the underlying work is obviously excellent, but it’ll need reworking.

They are penned by people but often times false histories are ascribed to them. Reading only of the three on its own will provide an incomplete picture and dramatically warp the reader’s impression of their legitimacy.

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Grimoiures would also be subjected to mass production much like pulp fiction. So there was I lot I didn’t know, and the book was well-written and a pleasure to read. Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers. There are other insights – into the controversial debate over Mormonism’s debt to the grimoire tradition, into irrationalism in American settler society, into the adaptation of grimoires to creole needs and their use by various Caribbean cultures often cleverly exploited by American pulp publishers and, more generally, into capitalist exploitation of folk demand for grimoires with much useful background on the American pulp publisher entry into the market.

One example comes from colonised peoples, who believed the Bible was the occult source of the power of the whites. Since this book is written with a lay reader in mind, some topics aren’t explored as much as one might hope this doesn’t hinder the book, but it is worth pointing out for anyone interested in studying folkloric aspects of magicbut the book does have a detailed Further Reading section A top-notch primer on an anthropological approach to the study of magic and its history through artifacts like grimoires.


The characterisation of Moses as a great magician claimed that only the first five books of divine teaching made it into the Bible; other secret texts circulated as grimoires – and still do. Far better to have a good history of some areas than a poor history of them all. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. This is supplemented by citations from a variety of sources that paint a picture of the intense clampdown on print grimoires in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which made the chapter appropriately titled “The War on Magic” all the more enjoyable to read.

They were leather bound written with special ink onn parchment.

Grimoires: A History of Magic Books: Owen Davies: : Books

Nov 06, Honey rated it it was amazing. Magic as resistance will never go away except where it is decisively crushed under the authoritarian boot of State and Church. Books themselves were considered holy and special people called scribes wrote books in general. Gimoires this book richly demonstrates, the history of grimoires illuminates many of the most important developments in European history over the last two thousand years. He takes us from the pre-Christian period through to present day cultural homages to the occult; Buffy, Charmed and so on.

Refreshingly well referenced with “Further Reading” list. I really enjoy books that grimoiress me to other books.

The new ones can be dedicated to angels, fairies, pagan gods, devils and even fictional gods from popular novels. You get to see a list of what you are missing.

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Angels, demons and the like? One of these items ships sooner than the other. Share your thoughts with other customers.

Under new conditions, they can be used, grimoides they increasingly are being used in the modern West, for fun and for spiritual growth rather than for the assertion of power bools the powerless over circumstance and the even less powerful. Spells are accepted but seem to be to be difficult to differentiate from magical remedies. However, I was quite disappointed to realize that the paperback edition does not include the color plates.

A History of Magic Books.

East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. Owen Davies’ Grimoires is an extraordinary assortment of riches – it is highly recommended.