Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Book, 22 Oct. 2002
By 
This review is from: The Magical Universe: Everyday Ritual and Magic in Pre-modern Europe (Hardcover)
The Magical Universe is a magical book. I first came across it by accident at the library,but I just had to own my own copy.I return to this book time and time again because of the wealth of material contained within. Wilson's text, along with Keith
Thomas' Religion and the Decline of Magic, have set the bench-mark for this field of interest. However, in contrast to Thomas' book, Wilson's is not primarily concerned with constructing a History of ritual and magic, but instead, he arranges the material in an analytical fashion.Yet, it is easy to read, and you will not want to put this down once you start.
In this book you will find out the reasons why certain ritualised acts were undertaken by pre-modern Europeans, and this is an absolute bonus. If you have been disappointed with other books on folk-lore, magic, and ritual, because of the lack of explanation behind the evidence, then this book is for you. Wilson provides the answers. There are seventeen chapters collected into five coherent sections.
The first, under the title of Agriculture, has chapters on House, Work and Land; Calendar Customs and Agrarian Saints; The Weather; Livestock.
Section Two looks at rituals and customs concerning Human Fertility and Marriage;Conception and Pregnancy; Childbirth: Delivery and First Days; Childbirth: Omens and Strange Births; Baptism, Godparents and Naming; Mother and Child; Death and the Dead.
The third section, my favourite, focuses on Disease and Healing. It is in the chapter on Illness, Doctors and Religion where we learn of Calabrian peasants whom,instead of going to the apothecary to have the medicines made-up, would put the
doctor's prescription under the patient's pillow. The idea was that the evil spirit would be so preoccupied by reading the doctor's poor handwriting that it would leave the patient alone. (So that's why my prescriptions are so illegible!) There are a further forty-two pages in this section dedicated to Folk-Healers and Magical Cures which deal with the fascinating subject of sympathetic magic and the transference and transplantation of disease.
Section Four is about Divination and Signs; whilst the last, The Elements of Magic, has chapters entitled, Magical Power: Persons, Spirits and Animals; Magical Power: Things, Words and Gestures; and finally Magic and Religion.
The text has 26 pages of accompanying Notes and an exhilarating (well, it was for me!) Bibliography containing 38 pages of source material. I have checked a number of Wilson's sources and, unlike many authors, he is "spot on" with his
interpretation, acuracy, and academic methods. With a detailed index of 16 pages, this is a scholarly piece of work. You won't fail to enjoy this book. Get the hardback - it looks great on the shelf, and you'll want to look after this one! - and is well worth the money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,897,244