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SHORTER NOTICES 105 loosely associated with Solomon, as the master magician. These included extremely complex ceremonies in which symbolism, drama, and verbal incantations were combined. From this source came the inspiration of books of magic that were circulated secretly in Europe. Professor Butler follows her theme with the scholarly approach of the historian combined with what can only be called the determination and ingenuity of a detective. Now quoting from a fourteenth-century book of magical rituals (the proud but illegal possession of some optimistic seeker after power ), then from the confession (before or after torture) of some alleged practitioner, she traces a change from the concept of unilateral control over unwilling spirits, through the Faustian concept of a mutual pact, to the gradual decline of ritual magic in the last century. The devotees of magic are a strange crew, ranging from avaricious adventurers, peasant simpletons, renegade monks, to Gilles de Rais, the gallant associate of Joan of Arc, to Madame de Montespan, the favourite of Louis XIV, and to those who looked up to "Faust." Ironically, today they are best known through the imaginative genius of Shakespeare and Milton. Ritual Magic is not a book to be picked up for light reading. Miss Butler writes clearly and with assurance on a hroad subject; her presentation is scholarly to a degree, but she pays her readers the compliment of assuming considerable knowledge of history, philosophy, and magic, and the ability to follow an intricate argument. T. F. MclLwRAITH BOOKS RECEIVED Beginning with this issue a list of Books Received will appear in October, January, and July. A "book which is mentioned in this list may be reviewed l"ter. We begin here with books published in 1949 now on our shelves, as far as space permits. Books received for "Let

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 105-106
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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