Eliphas Levi

The History of Magic, Including a Clear and Precise Exposition, of Its Procedure, Its Rites and Its Mysteries (Classic Reprint)

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Eliphas Levi
   - The History of Magic, Including a Clear and Precise Exposition, of Its Procedure, Its Rites and Its Mysteries (Classic Reprint)

Excerpt from The History of Magic, Including a Clear and Precise Exposition, of Its Procedure, Its Rites and Its Mysteries

In several casual references scattered through periodical literature, in the biographical sketch which preceded my rendering of Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magic and elsewhere, as occasion prompted, I have put on record an opinion that the History of Magic, by Alphonse Louis Constant, written - like the majority of his works - under the pseudonym of Eliphas Levi, is the most arresting, entertaining and brilliant of all studies on the subject with which I am acquainted. So far back as 1896 I said that it was admirable as a philosophical survey, its historical inaccuracies notwithstanding, and that there is nothing in occult literature which can suffer comparison therewith. Moreover, there is nothing so comprehensive in the French language, while as regards ourselves it must be said that - outside records of research on the part of folk-lore scholarship - we have depended so far on a history by Joseph Ennemoser, translated from the German and explaining everything, within the domain included under the denomination of Magic, by the phenomena of Animal Magnetism. Other texts than this are available in that language, but they have not been put into English; while none of them has so great an appeal as that which is here rendered into our tongue.

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