An Excellent Book of Necromancy: Introducing a Sixteenth-century Handbook of Magic, An Illustrated Lecture with Al Cummins
October 19, 2017, 7:00 pm
The Excellent Booke of the Arte of Magick and its attendant Visions are two historically underappreciated documents of English necromancy. The former is a sixteenth-century handbook concerning the summoning of (mainly demonic) spirits and the ghosts of dead magicians. The latter manuscript is a record of the visions and instructions given by these spirits (along with angels, saints, and even King Solomon himself) that made up the Excellent Booke itself. Details of early modern conjuration not often explored are laid bare in these behind-the-scenes records of writing a grimoire. Together these texts offer unique insights, both for historians and practitioners.
Dr. Alexander Cummins is a historian, poet, and diviner. His first book, The Starry Rubric: Seventeenth-century English Astrology and Magic were released through Hadean Press in 2012, and he has authored articles on topics ranging from millenarianism, to the material history of amulets, to herbs in the grimoires, to the occult history and philosophy of the cut-up technique.
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