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Search tags: history-of-occult
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review 2018-10-18 17:52
Great photos, scant details.
The Occult, Witchcraft & Magic an illustrated history - Christopher Dell

The pictures are pretty but it's a bit all over the place, plus you have to go to the back of the book to get the picture credits to see if the illustration is contemporary to the topic being discussed or a later impression, which can be important because pictures can be coloured by culture, learning and biases and what the artists is commenting about.

This book left me wanting more, more detail, more information and defiintely a better time0line. It starts from very eurocentric classical history bias and runs through the european experience before including african and american and it's a fairly superficial look. Howver the bibliography is extensive.

An interesting coffee table book about magic and the occult.

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review 2015-10-17 12:11
Witches of Pennsylvania by Thomas White
Witches of Pennsylvania: Occult History & Lore - Thomas White

A small book, but packed with information. If you are interested in the history of witches in Pennsylvania, and the strange practice known as Powwow, this is the book you're looking for.

A good book

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review 2015-03-09 19:49
The Hellfire Clubs: Sex, Satanism and Secret Societies - Evelyn Lord
The Hell-Fire Clubs scandalized eighteenth-century English society. Rumors of their orgies, recruitment of prostitutes, extensive libraries of erotica, extreme rituals, and initiation ceremonies circulated widely at the time, only to become more sensational as generations passed. This thoroughly researched book sets aside the exaggerated gossip about the secret Hell-Fire Clubs and brings to light the first accurate portrait of their membership (including John Wilkes, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Prince of Wales), beliefs, activities, and the reasons for their proliferation, first in the British Isles and later in America, possibly under the auspices of Benjamin Franklin.

Hell-Fire Clubs operated under a variety of titles, but all attracted similar members—mainly upper-class men with abundant leisure and the desire to shock society. The book explores the social and economic context in which the clubs emerged and flourished; their various phases, which first involved violence as an assertion of masculinity, then religious blasphemy, and later sexual indulgence; and the countermovement that eventually suppressed them. Uncovering the facts behind the Hell-Fire legends, this book also opens a window on the rich contradictions of the Enlightenment period.
I got this book while visiting the actual Hell-fire caves in Wycombe. Once I started I couldn't put it down. It's a really interesting book into the history's of Hell-fire clubs.

They were basically very rich prevented men with too much time on there hands, Bit like the men in our English government today.

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review 2012-05-10 00:00
Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation [Mitch Horowitz]
Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation - Mitch Horowitz

(DNF) Okay, so not really finished so much as quitting. I should label this book as given up on, but I've only got 2 parts left. I think part of my issue is that this book isn't what I was expecting/wanted and that I just can't really bring myself to care enough about the book to listen to anymore of it. The other issue is that I think I need a break from non-fiction books (since it's taking me so long to read this book, as well as the ebook I've been reading.)

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review 2011-11-28 00:00
Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation - Mitch Horowitz I just couldn't bring myself to finish this. The title gives the impression that mysticisim and the occult actually played a big role in American history, and that the author will be revealing fascinating secrets. Nope. Instead, it's just a simple history of the various weird things that people have believed in (for a certain value of weird, of course). It's actually very dry, which is a shame. Probably overresearched and overwritten. Top that off with a complete and total lack of critical reasoning applied to some of this stuff, and it's both dull and overly credulous. Couldn't even make it past theosophy.
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