Title: Witchcraft & the Black Art:
Author: John William Wickwar
Publisher: Herbert Jenkins Limited, exact date unstated, but known to be 1925. First edition, second printing completing 6,500 copies.
Condition: Hardcover, green cloth. In great condition for its age except for foxing, rubbing on the spine and a tear to the bottom of title page not affecting text.
About the book (from Google):
This superb history of witchcraft brings lucidity and rational analysis to a captivating topic, shrouded in mystery. Using an array of historical records and a sober commitment to the facts, Wickwar examines the true causes behind our ancient fascination with the ‘Black Art’; how, through the ages, a potent mixture of fear and superstition was able to provoke acts of gruesome barbarity. Witchcraft and the Black Art does away with sensationalism to provide a fresh, linear approach to the subject; a solid foundation for any general reader with an interest in one of the more sinister and bizarre chapters of our history.
About the Author:
John William Wickwar is an elusive character and rarely appears in any records. He was born in the London in 1871 and appears to have started his working career as pdf bookseller’s assistant. In 1917 he joined the Folklore Society and was also a Member of the British Sciences Guild. This latter organisation was founded in 1905 for the purpose of winning the British people to ‘the necessity of applying the methods of science to all branches of endeavour, and thus to further the progress and increase the welfare of the Empire’. Now nearly forgotten, the British Science Guild was to be among the most visible ‘ginger groups’ in British science during the first half of the century. Foreshadowing a world of parliamentary lobbies, public interest groups, and ‘think tanks’, the Guild was created to foster public appreciation of the role of science and the advantage of applying the methods of scientific enquiry, the study of cause and effect, in affairs of every kind. For just twenty years, under the banner of ‘imperial efficiency’, it campaigned for the application of scientific expertise to national and imperial policy, before it was ultimately forced to wind up its affairs in 1936, and combine with the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Its tempestuous history was not without achievements. Yet, those achievements were insufficient to change public opinion on the scale it attempted. John William Wickwar was an enthusiastic member and in addition to Witchcraft and the Black Art he wrote at least two other books; The Ghost World: its Realities, Apparitions & Spooks and Dreams: What They Are and What They Mean.