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The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft Paperback – May 31, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
This spirited, amusing and immensely informative history of paganism in 19th- and 20th-century Britain centers on Wicca, the system of witchcraft Gerald B. Gardner introduced to a startled public in the 1950s. The book's first half takes the reader on a breakneck tour of Victorian and Edwardian culture, demonstrating that Wiccan belief and practice owe much to the scholars, novelists and poets who resurrected Pan and the Goddess, crafting romantic visions of a pre-Christian past. The second half proceeds at a more leisurely pace, detailing the development of British witchcraft over the past 50 years among Gardner's followers, critics and rivals. In this meticulously researched book, Hutton modestly demolishes myths perpetuated by both pagans and their hostile critics and maintains an attitude that is at once skeptical and ultimately sympathetic. He displays astounding breadth, with literary references ranging from Keats to Mary Daly, and peppers his work with insightful portraits of characters such as Madam Blavatsky, Aleister Crowley, D.H. Lawrence, Dion Fortune, Alex Sanders, Starhawk and the obscure 19th-century wonder-worker and wart-healer known as Cunning Murrell. In a field generally characterized by polemical or apologetic historiography, Hutton's exceptional work is by far the most scholarly, comprehensive and judicious analysis of the subject yet published. It will remain the standard for many years to come. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"An excellent reference edition...I highly recommend it."--Weekly Alibi
"Hutton uses his historical skills to tease apart some of the themes in this popular rural romanticism, and to locate their purely modern origin."--Times Literary Supplement, UK
"Hutton's book is excellent..."--Times Literary Supplement
"Hutton has synthesized a huge body of sources, and woven together a fascinating narrative with supreme skill. The reader is sure to be gripped by the wonderful cast of characters that he assembles...Hutton shows us that paganism is a matter of interest not only for the classicist and archeologist, but for the modern historian as well. In doing so his Triumph of the Moon proves to be a triumph of cultural history."--Owen Davies, History Today (UK, Vol. 50 No. 3)
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Top customer reviews
The author comes across as very knowledgeable and well studied, which lends a lot to credibility. I don't think this is something that a newer Pagan should hand to their non-Pagan friends and family because the academic depth is a little too overwhelming for beginners. However, if you are doing research for a paper or are looking for a credible source of our history, this is a really great product.
There are many intriguing mini-biographies and the author is generally sympathetic to Paganism and Pagans in general...occasionally too sympathetic to be wholly objective.
Still, a good primer and highly recommended.
4 out of 5 stars
Most recent customer reviews
So in lieu of copy-pasting I'll just say I loved this book - not as much as Stations of the Sun...Read more