Grimoires: A History of Magic Books by Owen Davies on The Occult Review. Host David Halpin reviews this encyclopedic work on grimoires and reflects on their history, from their ancient roots to their presence in the thirteen colonies and their influence on the Salem witch trials as well as the addition of magick and rituals associated with due to the slave trade. At the same time, Halpin reveals his own theories on the nature on grimoires. He also let’s slip that the book contains a section of the Lovecraftian Necronomicon though he kept the specifics to himself, unwilling to spoil the book’s eldrich secret. He also touches on the psychological, Chaotic, and Irish Catholic implications of the existence and use of grimoires.
From Amazon’s product description of Grimoires: A History of Magic Books:
No books have been more feared than grimoires, and no books have been more valued and revered. In Grimoires: A History of Magic Books, Owen Davies illuminates the many fascinating forms these recondite books have taken and exactly what these books held. At their most benign, these repositories of forbidden knowledge revealed how to make powerful talismans and protective amulets, and provided charms and conjurations for healing illness, finding love, and warding off evil. But other books promised the power to control innocent victims, even to call up the devil. Davies traces the history of this remarkably resilient and adaptable genre, from the ancient Middle East to modern America, offering a new perspective on the fundamental developments of western civilization over the past two thousand years. Grimoires shows the influence magic and magical writing has had on the cultures of the world, richly demonstrating the role they have played in the spread of Christianity, the growth of literacy, and the influence of western traditions from colonial times to the present.