Tuesday 3 September 2019

Book Review: Cursed Britain by Thomas Waters (Non-Fiction/History/Witchcraft)

Title: Cursed Britain
Author: Thomas Waters
Yale University Press

Publication Date: 7 October 2019
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley


In our age of technology, it is easy to imagine that black magic in Britain is dead. Yet, over recent centuries this dark idea has persisted, changed, and returned. From the rural world of Georgian Britain, through the immense territories of the British Empire, to the multicultural present day, Thomas Waters explores the enduring power of primeval fears. He shows how witchcraft has become as diverse as modern Britain itself, and reveals why it is currently on the rise.

Cursed Britain is a fascinating read that considers the prevalence of black magic in Britain from 1800 to the present day (including the influences stemming from Britain's empirical and colonial past). The case studies in each section added depth to the arguments put forward, and I certainly learnt a few new things I'd never realised before. I was surprised the author glossed over Aleister Crowley, affording him only a couple of brief mentions, but perhaps he felt Crowley had already been 'done to death' in other works and wished to concentrate on more diverse, less well-known figures. Overall, Cursed Britain is an engaging book that will appeal to those interested in the history of witchcraft and magical practice, as well as social historians.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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