The Triumph of the Moon

The Triumph of the Moon

A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft

Book - 1999
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Ronald Hutton is known for his colourful, provocative, and always exhaustively researched, studies on original subjects. This work is no exception: the first full-scale scholarly study of the only religion England has ever given the world, that of modern pagan witchcraft, which has now spreadfrom English shores across four continents. Hutton examines the nature of that religion and its development, and offers a microhistory of attitudes to paganism, witchcraft, and magic in British society since 1800. Village cunning folk and Victorian ritual magicians, classicists and archaeologists,leaders of woodcraft and scouting movements, Freemasons and members of rural secret societies, all appear in the pages of this book. Also included are some of the leading figures of English literature, from the Romantic poets to W B Yeats, D H Lawrence, and Robert Graves, as well as the mainpersonalities who have represented pagan witchcraft to the world since 1950.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780198207443
Branch Call Number: 133.43 Hut
Characteristics: xv, 486 p. ; 25 cm.


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Feb 08, 2018

The sheer amount of research and academic labor that went into this book earns it at least four stars. The Triumph of the Moon also benefits greatly from the personal touch instilled by its author, who does an excellent job of acknowledging the effect that his personal experience has had on his conclusions while also standing by his integrity as a historian and providing counterpoints to those experiences. Hutton takes on the daunting task of contextualizing modern paganism within both obvious and obscure trends and events, and his effort has created an admirably fair and enriching look at how modern paganism developed especially in Britain over the last few centuries. While he focuses primarily on local events and specific times, he also dips in to other places and deeper history when needed, and his work is the richer both for that and for his erstwhile willingness to admit what he doesn't know (instead of following in the paths of several predecessors and passing his best guess off as accepted fact).
An incredibly informative and generally well-written account of an understudied movement, invaluable to both the historically curious and the self-aware witch.

CGorham Oct 24, 2011

This is a fantastic read for anyone interested in the evolution of modern pagan witchcraft in Great Britain, whether or not you personally identify as pagan. It is "densely researched", as the liner notes so aptly put it (could you expect anything less from Oxford?), and while there is an incredible amount of information to process, it is engaging, wonderfully written, and truly unique in it's undertaking of the subject. It's a breath of fresh air in a field where evenhanded parsing of historical records is a rare occurrence, and I would hope that anyone walking a pagan path would take the time to read it.

A pleasure to read from cover to cover!


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