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 Montague Summers
☞Tomber☜
post Nov 26 2011, 12:03 PM
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I just got a few books by Montague Summers and was wondering if anyone else had any comments about him. I have The Geography of Witchcraft, The History of Witchcraft and Demonology, and The Vampire by him. I haven't gotten around to read them yet but I did try to find information about it and it seems he may have not actually been a priest like he claimed. It seems sort of sketchy. Anyone else enjoy his books or have anything to say about them?

This post has been edited by ☞Tomber☜: Nov 26 2011, 12:08 PM


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QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Jan 30 2013, 02:19 AM) *
Expect nothing, or you will get caught up in the future and not pay attention to the present. Just do the practice diligently, do it because you enjoy it, do it because you believe in it. Don't wait for results, don't wait for it to happen.

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Darkmage
post Nov 26 2011, 12:27 PM
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I've got quite a few books by Summers. They make for an entertaining read. I've heard he was a Catholic priest, I also heard he got kicked out for unknown reasons. Whether or not he was legit is evidently open to debate. *shrug* There are a couple things you should know, though:

1) He assumes the reader understands French and Latin. A hundred years ago most educated people understood one or both. Nowadays, 'not so much' is a massive understatement. If you don't understand either language, you'll be skipping over a good chunk of text.

2) Because his historical research is sketchy, he tends to accept a lot of stories at face value. This is not necessarily a good thing. Be prepared to read his material with not a grain but a shaker of salt. Ideally you should have a big box of it nearby--you'll need it. Some of his stories have since been debunked, others not so much, but so long as you don't take his word as Gospel you'll probably be fine. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Happy reading!


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Imperial Arts
post Nov 27 2011, 01:01 AM
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Summers' "History" is great, and his editions of Remy, Guazzo, and Sprenger are definitive works on the subject of witchcraft. Like it or not, this guy's stuff is classic.

If you are understandably turned off by Summers' difficult style, you might enjoy the same information from a different writer like Jeffrey Russell whose books are dry but excellent. For a ten-cent version of the same information, try Leonard Ashley which is made for people who prefer magazines.

Remember that what Summers provides is an articulate and educated compilation of important documents, buffered by bold opinions. Turn to any page of "History of Witchcraft and Demonology" and you can read lurid details, but these were not things he invented himself. His erudition alone is enough to beg the question why so many people of the highest moral and intellectual esteem thought of things like sabbatic orgies and infertility charms as matters of such grave stake.

As difficult reading as it might be, take comfort in the fact that you are reading on the subject from someone who is no lightweight (literally) and who has thoroughly understood the subject from all angles. If it has been written about, even in five foreign languages and has been out of print for ages, rest assured that Summers knew it by rote and could bring that knowledge to the table. That is far more than I could say for most occult authors.


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☞Tomber☜
post Nov 30 2011, 06:43 PM
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Thanks Imperial and Darkmage, I've gotten into "The History of Witchcraft" and will try and finish it this month. I do think it is strange that he quotes without translation because I have many old books and this is the first that I have come across something like this. But I did take latin in highschool and have a few french books so I'll trudge through it I guess ha.

This post has been edited by ☞Tomber☜: Nov 30 2011, 06:45 PM


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QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Jan 30 2013, 02:19 AM) *
Expect nothing, or you will get caught up in the future and not pay attention to the present. Just do the practice diligently, do it because you enjoy it, do it because you believe in it. Don't wait for results, don't wait for it to happen.

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