Lives of the Necromancers
Author: William Godwin
An account of the most eminent persons in successive ages, who have claimed for themselves, or to whom has been imputed by others, the exercise of magical power.
An overview of legendary both fictional and historic figures associated with the occult, an exhaustive study of the history and lore of witchcraft, from the ancient world to the modern.
Despite its title, is less a series of biographies than a study of the way the mind is readily deceived by the overwrought imagination and the desire for immortality. From the classical myths of necromancy found amoung the Greeks to the tragedy of the Inquisition and witchcraft trials, Godwin chronicles humanity's quest to extend beyond the mundane...and the consequences of such desires.
"If we would know man in all his subtleties, we must deviate into the world of miracles and sorcery . . .
"To know the things that are not, and cannot be, but have been imagined and believed, is the most curious chapter in the annals of man. To observe the actual results of these imaginary phenomena, and the crimes and cruelties they have caused us to commit, is one of the most instructive studies in which we can possibly be engaged!"
15 x 21, 322 pgs