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The History of Witchcraft and Demonology (Dover Occult) [Paperback]

Montague Summers
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Oct 2007 Dover Occult
This classic of esoterica explores witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy, damnation, Satanism, and every variety of magic. Written by the field's foremost scholar, it features colorful, little-known anecdotes about witches, devils, and their arts. It also provides numerous historical accounts of witch trials and surveys the role of witches in literature.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; Dover Ed edition (26 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486460118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486460116
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 423,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent study from a Catholic perspective 7 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback
Actually first published in 1926, this is an excellent general overview of witchcraft in its historical context. Summers was a Catholic priest and, as a result, he adhered to the point of view that magic, occultism and witchcraft are all dangerous and efficacious in producing evil. Whether we believe in the effects of magic or not is irrelevant to appreciate this study, for rather than waste space with scepticism it instead looks at the subject on its own merit. Whilst little evidence is actually offered in support of magic, many alleged incidents are related briefly which anyone with access to a large library could research further. Summers points out that whilst most magic can be explained away by illusion or deceit, there are still many cases which seem to have no explanation except a supernatural one (according to him).

There are seven chapters, which go into fair detail, including areas as diverse as exorcism (in which a full example text of which words to speak to cast out demons is included), to how the witch has been portrayed in plays and opera.

A very small portion of the text is in Latin and French, which is only sometimes translated into English. An excellent bibliography is included, which lists many books and early pamphlets in English, French, German and Latin. Overall, this is an excellent study which manages to be both diverse and detailed, and is also very interesting to read for an historical work. Definitely worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very intetesting Read 28 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book about the history of demonology,I found to be very interestingBook good value for money.Would reccomend it to anyone with an interest in the occult
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The peerless authority upon these dark subjects, the Reverend Montague Summers, brings his formidable powers of insight and scholarship to bear on the infernal mysteries of witchcraft, from the learned traditional perspective of Catholic Christianity in this dense and brilliant historical study which remains unsurpassed. No suavely rationalistic trifler or crass divagatory occultist, Montague Summers' work endures and remains perennially significant and welcome by the very fact that it revives the authentically mediaeval spiritual perspective and consequently affords no small insight into the 'shuddering horror and heart-sick dismay any sort of commerce between human beings and evil spirits, which is the very core and kernel of Witchcraft, excited throughout the whole of Christendom' during the pre-modern epoch.This treatise presents his profound researches into the demoniac pestilence of witchery and its flare-ups through the centuries and depicts the witch as he or she truly was, without gloss or apologetics - a pest, deviant and evil-liver whose malign sorceries were inspired by and effected via the infernal agencies of the Father of Lies, Satan-Lucifer, the ancient deceiver of mankind. Read more ›
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