Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England
The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
Release date: April 9th, 2019
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
by Nigel Pennick from NetGalley and Inner Traditions/Destiny Books in order to read and give an honest review.
As a fantasy fiction writer, I have read some of Mr Pennick’s previous works as research material in the past, so this was right up my alley.
This author is prolific and knowledgeable when it comes to the folklore that surrounds paganism and it definitely shows in “Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England”. As always, the author’s work is interesting, very meticulously researched and it is evident beyond doubt that he is passionate about the subject matter.
“Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England” covers everything from the secret guilds that arose around trades to magic and folklore that surrounded witches. Sharing with the reader and giving us insight into their traditions and how they came to be.
Considering much of the history of these subjects was spread through oral tradition, being passed down through the generations, the author has discovered some very unique and interesting tales that are the origins of sayings or traditions still present today. What really intrigued me was the folklore behind some of the artefacts that have survived, in particular, the “witch bottles” and “sprite traps”. Another impressive touch, which was particularly helpful, was the fact that the author included photographs and illustrations.
I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning about folklore and traditions that surround Anglo-Saxon paganism.