Just Released: The Cambridge Book of Magic

The Cambridge Book of Magic is an edition of the previously unpublished Cambridge University Library MS Additional 3544, a sixteenth-century manuscript of ritual magic attributed to Paul Foreman. While most of the text involves the conjuration of angels and demons for purposes as diverse as knowing the future, inflicting bodily harm, and recovering stolen property, the author’s interests go beyond spirit conjuration to include a variety of forms of natural magic, astrological image magic, and magico-medical texts, particularly regarding the properties of plants and herbs.

This volume features a complete critical edition of the original mixed Latin and English text, alongside a complete translation of the Latin and a rendering of the English into modern spelling, as well as explanatory notes, historical introduction, bibliography, and index all by Dr. Francis Young. This edition addresses critical issues affecting this manuscript such as the division of the text into 91 individual “experiments,” and dates the manuscript for the first time to between 1532 and 1558. Young’s extensive introduction sets the text in the context of sixteenth-century English ritual magic.

The hardcover book is 180 pages long and lists at Lulu.com for $38.21; however, as of this writing the new release is discounted by 25% here.

Richard Kaczynski

Richard Kaczynski is the author of the biography Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2002; rev exp ed 2010), the history Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis (2012), the novel The Billionth Monkey (2015), Panic in Detroit: The Magician and the Motor City (2019), along with a bunch of other books, articles, and chapters that you can read about at his website, www.richard-kaczynski.com.

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