Witch, Warlock, and Magician Historical Sketches of Magic and Witchcraft in England and Scotland

Witch, Warlock, and Magician Historical Sketches of Magic and Witchcraft in England and Scotland

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The journalist and author W.H. Davenport Adams (1828 – 91) established a reputation for himself as a popular science writer, translator, and lexicographer. He also wrote several children's books. In this 1889 work, Adams gives a general introduction to alchemy in Europe and traces the development of magic and alchemy in England from the fourteenth century onwards. Initially, the disciplines were persecuted by the Church and met with 'the prejudice of the vulgar', languishing throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

In Book 1 Adams portrays the English 'magicians' Roger Bacon, whom he considers to have been ahead of his contemporaries; John Dee and William Lilly, astrologists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, respectively; and the English Rosicrucians. Book 2 is a historical account of witchcraft in England and Scotland, from the middle ages to the witch trials of the seventeenth century, and includes a chapter on witchcraft in literature.