The image of the magician is exciting and tantalising, and familiar to us all. Think of Merlin or Gandalf and we think of excitement, mystery and adventure. But what do we feel or even know about real magicians those figures who throughout history have practiced the kind of magic that for centuries was a forbidden art?For reasons that will become clear as the 562 page The Book of English Magic unfolds, England has fostered the greatest variety of magicians in all the world, including not only the delightfully eccentric, but also figures who have played significant roles in the development of the arts and sciences. Secretly we would all probably like to know a magician, or perhaps be one. And extraordinary as it may seem there has never been a greater opportunity to fulfil either of these ambitions, since there are now more practising wizards in England than at any other time in her history. Some will see this as an example of the triumph of irrationalism, others as evidence of a rebirth in an understanding of the world that is only now being touched upon by the most advanced physicists and cosmologists. Whatever your beliefs about magic, this book is designed to introduce you to some of the most interesting contemporary practitioners of magic, and to many of the most important figures in the magical world of previous centuries. And to help you begin experiencing for yourself the world of magic and enchantment that has succeeded in intriguing generations of seekers, this comprehensive survey of English magic includes a rich menu of magical things to do and places to visit.Co-author Sir Richard Heygate runs a successful software company and has a special interest in alternative worlds. He is also co-author of Endangered Species.REVIEWS'A richly illustrated and erudite treasure-house of a book.' The Good Book Guide'This will remain the standard work for years to come.' Suzi Feay, The Sunday TelegraphThis large, cheerful, handsome book Jon Barnes, The Times Literary Supplement 'A monument to the hold magic has on the English imagination' Matthew Kilburn, History Today 'A model of clarity and comprehensiveness.' Liz Williams, author Empire of Bones'I wish all books on occult history were as clearly written, as entertaining and as full of fascinating facts.' The Bad Witch's Blog
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