Roger Dearnale _Gardnerian_Chronology_And_Bibliography
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There has been a great deal of debate about the early history of the Gardnerian Craft (and thus of Wicca as a whole). Unfortunately, this debate has produced a great deal more heat (and smoke) than light. For example, one of the major "contributors", Aiden Kelly, has since been shown to have seriously distorted and misquoted the extracts he gives
[Kelly '91] from Gardner's earliest known "Book of Shadows" ("Ye Bok of Ye Art Magical") in order allow him to "prove" his position, which renders the rest of his "scholarship" highly questionable, at best. [Frew '97] Another, E.W. Liddell (a.k.a. Lugh), has published a set of claims that range from the intriguing to the highly implausible. (Indeed, in his introduction to the book "The Pickingill Papers" [Liddell '94] where his claims are collected, he says he doesn't believe all of them himself — he explains that he was merely collating and forwarding material from other witches who wished to remain anonymous!). In fact, most writers on the subject seem to have an axe to grind of one sort or another.