In The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment (Penguin, 2016), Brian Copenhaver, professor of philosophy and history at UCLA, has drawn together a wide variety of texts into a kind of buffet of writing on magic, defining ‘magic’ loosely. The collection stops a little short — mid-seventeenth century — for my taste but, given the massive amount of material to choose from, such a time-bound anthology makes sense. The book is already quite lengthy — taking it into the eighteenth century might have required the publisher to sell it with an accompanying lectern. Perhaps Copenhaver has plans for a second volume! As it is, The Book of Magic will be a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the interstices of medicine and magic or in the source texts drawn on by many weird lit authors. Continue reading “Book Review: The Book of Magic”
A little mystery for your holiday season?
Otto Penzler’s latest edited anthology for Black Lizard and Vintage Crime is a treat for Sherlockians. Just in time for Christmas — and the long-awaited Christmas special, if you’re a fan of the BBC Sherlock reboot series — is a doorstop of a Holmes anthology, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, featuring everything from parody to the supernatural to straight-up homage.