In this profoundly personal journey through British history, Martin Wall traces the influence of Magic and Myth from the earliest times to the present day. Our abiding myths have endured since before the time of the Druids, reaching their apotheosis in the Arthurian tales and the Glastonbury legends, stories which retain their dynamism and imaginative power. These mythic templates, constantly reinvented, provided a legitimating mission for the British Empire, which mediated them to a worldwide audience. Our spiritual inheritance is shot through with magic. But this book takes in more obscure mysteries, such as ‘Who put Bella in the Wych-Elm?’, a localised ‘tribe of witches’, and a host of extraordinary characters like Doctor John Dee, William Blake, and the notorious Aleister Crowley. In this fascinating account of the occult origins of British culture the author depicts our island story as an outworking of magical destiny – a challenge to us to create our own imaginative system.
THE AUTHOR Martin Wall inherited his passionate interest in local history and folklore from his father and has been writing about these subjects for ten years. He lectures historical groups on a variety of subjects and acts as a gallery interpreter in his spare time.