A History of Witchcraft

Sorcerers, Heretics & Pagans


This book is not yet published, but will be available from June 2024.

ISBN: 9780500297285 Category:

Jeffrey B. Russell, Brooks Alexander


An authoritative and concise history of witchcraft from the ancient world up to the present day.

Witchcraft has always been a fluid and intriguing belief system that has enchanted and sometimes terrified humanity. For over forty years, A History of Witchcraft has provided the authoritative history of witchery and the occult. Beginning with magic in the ancient world, Jeffrey Russell explores the definition of witchcraft in its many diverse forms, from the worship of the Greek goddess of magic, Hecate, through the witch-crazes of the 15th and 16th centuries to the development of modern witchcraft by Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner in the early 20th century.

Brooks Alexander analyses the development of witchcraft and neopaganism in the present day, charting the dissemination of modern witchcraft through modern media and the tensions that arise when a secretive cult becomes an open and recognized religion. This updated edition features a new chapter exploring the challenges that witchcraft has faced in the past decade, including the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok, the coronavirus pandemic and new neopagan groups.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 19.8 x 12.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 4 June 2024
Number of pages 240
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 19.8 x 12.9 cm
Weight 300 g


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Jeffrey B. Russell (1934-2023) was an American historian of medieval Europe and religious studies scholar. Brooks Alexander is author of Witchcraft Goes Mainstream and has written numerous articles on witchcraft, neo-paganism and other new religious movements.