5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism (Hardcover)
Is this a great book? No. Would I normally rate it five stars? No. But it is the first decent book in the sense of being accurate and factual that I have read on tarot cards and for this alone does it deserve a five star rating. I would hope that Helen Farley has another more exhaustive book in the making on this subject as it whetted the appetite but lacked originality and the prose slumped into a "academic journalese" on occassion. Some interesting early texts and sources are referenced to secondary sources and the original sources would be interesting to follow through with. Other parts of the text are unclear where there seems to be a miswritten fourteenth century which must have meant fifteenth century. Apart from this the occasional extra word through a lazy type reader annoyed me. The contents were far too reliant on secondary sources and much of the second half of the book was a summary of the precursors of the new age movement, again which read more like a wikipedia summary than a really researched area. However, these faults are outweighed essentially because at last someone has had the common sense and vigour to attempt a proper, accurate and true cultural history of the tarot, and in my opinion, this first light on a murky subject is far too valuable to miss.
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