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The History of British Magic After Crowley: Kenneth Grant, Amado Crowley, Chaos Magic, Satanism, Lovecraft, the Left Hand Path, Blasphemy and Magical Morality Paperback – 1 Apr 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Hidden Design Ltd (1 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955523702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955523700
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"provocative thought provoking ... certainly quite different to any previous history you might have read" -- Mogg Morgan, Mandrake Speaks Newsletter number 201, Summer 2007

Dave Evans has managed to write a `sensible' book on a not-sensible subject
-- Alaistair Livingstone, Greengalloway Blog, Spring 2007

exhibits high standards of research...contains new and previously unpublished material... a work of reference for generations to come. -- Peter J Carroll, Arcanorium College internal newsletter, Summer 2007

From the Author

Thankyou

Dr Dave Evans


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter. J. Morris on 13 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I am so glad that I did not take on board some of the negative comments made about this book currently available on the Amazon website before eventually purchasing it. As it turns out these proved to be widely inaccurate with the reviewers slightly missing the point about what 'The History of British Magic After Aleister Crowley' is really attempting to do.

Dave Evans has approached this very diverse subject with a thoroughly investigative mind. Because of this; this could have turned out to have been a very dry account of the history of 20th century magic - with research having been drawn from all of the usual common sources for its content. Instead this is more a social commentary of the people, writers and major characters involved into which the author successfully infuses his own unique perspective as a magician. He draws his material from a wide range of sources and through personal connections that most other writers simply do not have.

I found the section on Chaos Magic to be perhaps the most illuminating explanation of this tricky aspect of modern occultism I have read so far. For those 'traditionalists' who prefer their magick full of pomp and ceremony this will not be a comfortable read. Nevertheless it is an important branch of Thelema and needs the sort of unbiased investigation that the author has given it.

This is a big book in all regards but a couple of chapters into it and I was completely hooked. Taken overall this turned out to be a darned good purchase and thoroughly engaging read! There is no other book on the market today that covers so much ground in such an informative and fascinating way. I thoroughly recommend it to all occultists of all persuasions as an important addition to their libraries.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By James Whittaker on 12 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Mr Evans devotes quite a lot of space to telling the reader what he proposes to write about and then seems to go off on a tangent, rambling on about something else, particularly a long diatribe about the left hand path which goes nowhere at all. The book is interesting in parts but in my opinion falls short of providing a comprehensive history of magic(K) in the UK.
He fails to mention organisations like the Order of the cubic stone, and magicians like Madeleine Montalban and references to other practicing magicians are sketchy and incomplete. It concentrates on Kenneth Grant and Amado Crowley who are far from representative of post Crowleyan magic(K) in the UK as any internet search will show. What the book needs more than anything is a good editor to knock it into shape as Mr Evans writing style reminds me of A E Waite on a bad day.
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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful By N Foster on 30 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
. . .is a dangerous thing, then some knowledge may be positively lethal. A quarter way through this self-regarding tome and I was already losing the will to live. Will I survive before terminal boredom sets in? Probably not. There are certain magicians and occultists who resemble computer nerds in their inability to see the wood for the trees. Sadly, Dave Evans appears to be one one of them, obsessed as he is with his own take on magical history, one which elevates a comparatively minor player - Amado Crowley - into a major figure. See, Dave, here's the thing: magic is not confined to your own circle, or those whom you personally know. And by the way: Alex Saunders had the same sort of influence on magical practice and development as Paris Hilton has on haute-couture: more consumer than originator.
It's this accent on Dave's personal experiences that destroy what could and should have been a landmark book. For example, he spends a long time, some would say too long, in describing the cultural and social background in the UK - with the occasional US reference - post Crowley's death. He isolates those influences that, in his opinion, helped develop something of a magical renaissance which gave forth Chaos, or Kaos, Magic. And somehow in this catalogue, he manages to ignore the movie industry. No mention of Rosemary's Baby, The Omen or The Exorcist. No mention of Hammer's Dracula series. . .movies which may be beneath a modern magician's contempt, but which were hugely influential in their day. Dave Evans also manages to ignore the influence quantum mechanics has had on the whole subject of magic, from The Dancing Wu Li Masters - which compared quantum with the Tao - to M John Harrison's superb novel, 'Light'. It's enough to make a good Gnostic despair.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Haggy on 12 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the end of particularly long, rambling chapter in this extended PhD thesis, Dr Evans admits that his PhD supervisor - acclaimed occult academic Dr Ronald Hutton, no less - advised him not to spend 50 odd pages "jumping up and down on the corpse" of Amado Crowley when 15 would have done. It's advice that Evans would have been wise to follow throughout this poorly written, poorly edited book.

That's not to say that there isn't some very interesting material in here struggling to break the surface - especially, for me, on Kenneth Grant; but it's hard to believe that Evan's original thesis was so badly punctuated, so tortuously argued.... There are passages in here that had me laughing incredulously, when he reminds us YET AGAIN that he's mentioned this character/subject before in a previous chapter, or is about to in a future chapter; or when he strangles the life out of unnecessarily long sentences without, apparently, any idea how to deploy a semi-colon.

This may seem like a pedantic critique, but over 400 pages you really do need to an author who can organise material into a coherent argument and present it well, or the pleasure of reading is crushed, and the ability to extract pertinent information is made so difficult the reader begins to lose the will to live. I read doggedly to the end because there was enough buried amidst the bad writing to sustain my interest and, I admit, because I was actually beginning to wonder how much worse Evans' delivery could get. Sadly, in that last estimation, I was not disappointed. I note that he has also published his MA dissertation in a similar fashion - heaven forbid....

Get yourself a professional editor Dr Evans and you could maybe make a career out of academic research into the occult. There's plenty of scope to treat the subject as social history, and/or religious anthropology - and even do so as a practising magician - but you do need some degree of academic discipline to make it worthwhile.
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