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The Long-Lost Friend: A 19th Century American Grimoire Paperback – 15 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S.; Annotated edition (15 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738732540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738732541
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 685,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Daniel Harms holds two masters' degrees, one in anthropology and one in library and information science. His major area of research is magic from antiquity to the present, and he has been published in the Journal for the Academic Study of Magic and the Journal of Scholarly Publishing. Harms is also the author of two books on horror fiction and folklore. Visit him online at DanHarms.wordpress.com.

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I loved snuggling up in bed and reading about the old times!
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Very good!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8dc5a180) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8df576fc) out of 5 stars Great, but buy the print version 12 Jun. 2012
By Susannah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is, for now, without a doubt the definitive version of the Long Lost Friend. If you have any interest in Braucherei, Hoodoo, Conjure, Pennsylvania Dutch folk practices, and/or the history of magical practices in this country, this is a fundamental text. If you decide to acquire a copy of this book, you should have this edition for its inclusiveness and its scholarship.

However, I can't recommend the kindle version, which I've found almost impossible to work with. There are hundreds of footnotes (and you will want to read them) but they are not hyperlinked so you will have to navigate to the end of the book and then back, and you will have to do this numerous times on nearly every page. I find this slow and difficult, in fact nearly impossible. Footnotes are often a problem in kindle editions, but this is the first I've found where you're left to make your way to the back of the book without any help at all. This is an issue the publisher should decidedly address, because many people like myself will want the convenience of having a kindle copy as well as a print copy.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e249bf4) out of 5 stars A Grimoire, American Style 11 Oct. 2012
By Rob Hardy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is a chaotic world out there, and we may often be fooling ourselves that we are in control of what happens to us within it. The forces of randomness are constantly at work in ways none of us can completely understand, but we like to feel we are calling the shots. Even when we are not really in charge, we like to think we are, and we like philosophies and books that tell us how to overcome the chaos. Not all of these ways of thinking can be correct; think of all the religious believers in all ages certain that their particular beliefs are controlling things, but even if one religious belief is the right one and enabling such control, the control offered by the others must then be illusory. That isn't to say that illusory control isn't important. Take, for instance the book _The Long Lost Friend_, which is "perhaps the most influential and well known of all the grimoires, or books of magic, to originate in the New World." This is according to Daniel Harms, a researcher who concentrates on magic and folklore, and who has annotated the most authoritative edition of the book, _The Long Lost Friend: A 19th Century American Grimoire_ (Llewellyn Publications). This edition is heavily annotated and bears the editor's explanatory and introductory essays, but there can be no doubt that some will be using it for the purpose for which it was originally printed in 1820, and then translated into English first in 1846 with the subtitle _A Collection of Mysterious and Invaluable Arts and Remedies, for Man as Well as Animals: Of Their Virtue and Efficacy in Healing Diseases, etc._ The book remains a resource for spells in Hoodoo and paganism. It has entered the digital age; not only are its spells available online, but Harms says "the proprietor of a popular online spiritual supply shop has listed Hohman's book as one of her two top sellers."

This curious work, however, is not a throwback to a pre-Christian pagan tradition. Like most grimoires, this one harnessed the best available supernatural beliefs, Christian and specifically Catholic. Typical is a "A good remedy to stop Bleeding," which consists of saying three times, "This is the day on which the injury happened. Blood, thou must stop until the Virgin Mary bring forth another son." The author of the original, John George Hohman, thought he was doing religious business. Looking at the long list of remedies, a reader can learn what sorts of worries bothered those who consulted this book of charms. For colic, you were to say, "I warn ye, ye colic fiends! There is one sitting in judgment, who speaketh: just or unjust. Therefore beware, ye colic fiends!" A remedy for colic subsequently listed (I suppose if this first malediction didn't work) involved some good old rye whiskey and a pipe full of tobacco. If you needed a general protection, then "Whoever carries the right eye of a wolf fastened inside of his right sleeve, remains free from all injuries." There were many charms against assault by gunfire or by knife. "I conjure thee, sword, sabre, or knife, that mightest injure or harm me, by the priest of all prayers, who had gone into the temple at Jerusalem, and said; an edged sword shall pierce your soul that you may not injure me, who am a child of God." Hohman includes this in a list of several charms for the same thing, and seemed not to realize that if one of the charms really worked, all the others would be superfluous. There were similar recitals that would keep witches away, and one that sounds like it was the sort of things witches would be good at doing, called "A Charm for Bad People," which goes like this: "It is said, that if you suspect a person for badness, and he sits down in a chair, and you take a shoemaker's wax-end, that has not been used, and stick one end of it on the underside of the chair, and you sit on the other end of it, he will immediately make water, and in a short time die." One charm would help with legal matters; anyone who has to go to court, "let him take some of the largest kind of sage and write the names of the 12 apostles on the leaves, and put them in his shoes before entering the courthouse, and he shall certainly gain the suit."

There may be some useful household lore here. If you are stung by a bee, it cannot hurt to apply an onion to the sting, and maybe there are chemicals in the onion to affect the pain; this particular treatment is still current, and was recommended by Ann Landers. There are suggestions for dying cloth red, blue, or green. The more interesting claims, however, are the ones that call upon supernatural forces, which show the worries that were current in Hohman's time. This remarkable book was so popular that it engendered its own folklore; Harms says, "According to some traditions, possession of the book, or even touching a copy, would lead to crows, including one transformed witch, roosting on the roof of the owner's house." I cannot say that crows have happened to my roof since I have had my review copy, but I can testify to one of its other charms. Hohman writes, "Whoever carries this book with him, is safe from all his enemies, visible or invisible; and whoever has this book with him, cannot die without the holy corpse of Jesus Christ, nor drowned in any water, nor burn up in any fire, nor can any unjust sentence be passed upon him." Holy corpse or not, this has all come to pass for me just as Hohman foretold.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f211054) out of 5 stars A Long Lost Friend Returns - Better Than Ever 4 May 2015
By Mark Stavish, The Institute for Hermetic Studies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am no stranger to The Long Lost Friend, having been raised around it, with my great-grandfather Augustus Tischler (Plymouth, Pennsylvania) having been a practitioner of the art. I believe that this intimacy with the works of folk and medieval magic as it has survived into Twentieth Century America played a large part in my being asked to write the jacket-copy for Joseph Peterson's edition of The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses (Ibis Press 2008), and the Introduction to The Red Church by Christopher Bilardi. What Peterson did for this ancient text of Faustian magic, a magic Augustus was familiar with, and to which I have several of the amulets used by my great-aunts as well, I am certain Harms has done for The Long Lost Friend – restored it to a place of respect and practicality to new generations seeking knowledge of traditional practices. Like The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, The Long Lost Friend has gone through several editions, with many of the names, sigils, and even facts of the book being muddled and lost. Peterson's Introduction provides a very important historical overview of the book, followed by an English translation and German original annotated extensively by Harms. It is critical to both the scholarly reader and would be practitioner to read these notations as they add very valuable contextual and practical information to this text and the nearly forgotten age in which it arose and came to prominence. Less than twenty-four hours after receiving this review copy in the mail I came across an inexpensive paperback copy from the 1920s while walking through a flea market less than one mile from where I live. Because of the quality of paper these books were printed on few survived more than a few decades, and I have never come across one in all of my travels. Now, in two days, two copies arrive on my doorstep. With that omen in mind I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to examine this work of Hohman, Harms, and Peterson, and can positively state that anyone with a serious interest in Pennsylvania German folk magic in particular (also known as 'pow-wow' or 'braucherei'), Southern Hoodoo, Root, or Conjure magic, or even the anthropology of ideas will be very happy to have this edition of The Long Lost Friend as a resource.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8df5c4a4) out of 5 stars Great for the random open and read! 28 Mar. 2014
By Jonn of Mars - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Long Lost Friend is not a book I sat down and read cover to cover. After reading the opening sections I go back and read the later sections as the mood strikes. The spells and recipes are fascinating but a bit tedious to read one after the other. Highly recommended for it's interesting place in American folklore!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e04f2e4) out of 5 stars A lot of hard work went into this definitive edition 11 Mar. 2013
By Stephen Petitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dan Harms obviously did his research, this is without a doubt the most scholarly edition of The Long Lost Friend ever. The original German text is appended as well. I would give this book 10 stars if I could!
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