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Fourth from the top

Martin Kemp, 1 December 1983

Collected Essays: Vols I and II 
by Frances Yates.
Routledge, 279 pp., £12.50, May 1982, 0 7100 0952 6
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... She belonged to a small band of pioneers – including Lynn Thorndike, Eugenio Garin and D.P. Walker – who moved scientific and spiritual magic to the centre of the history of European thought. She rescued important facets of our intellectual heritage from what she called ‘the dust-heap of useless speculations’, recognising forces within occult ...


Patrick Mauriès: Halfway between France and Britain, 3 November 1983

... them. One must acknowledge, however, that Richard Cobb is not Frank Kermode, nor Angus Wilson D.P. Walker. I had come knowing what Britain’s preconceived ideas were: her pragmatism and refusal of abstraction, her solitary traditions and diehard taste for erudition and travail honnête, however ungratifying; knowing, too, that my stock of clichés would ...

Witchcraft and the Inquisition

Robin Briggs, 18 June 1981

Unclean Spirits: Possession and Exorcism in France and England in the Late 16th and Early 17th Centuries 
by D.P. Walker.
Scolar, 116 pp., £9.95, March 1981, 9780859676205
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The Witches’ Advocate 
by Gustav Henningsen.
Nevada, 607 pp., $24, November 1980, 0 87417 056 7
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... properly integrated into the study of European history in general, and it is here that Professor Walker’s book on possession and exorcism is most helpful. This handsomely produced, if expensive version of his 1979 Northcliffe lectures is mostly devoted to quite well-known cases, such as that of Marthe Brossier in France, and the activities of John Darrel ...

Moderns and Masons

Peter Burke, 2 April 1981

The First Moderns: The Architects of the Eighteenth Century 
by Joseph Rykwert.
M.I.T., 585 pp., £27.50, September 1980, 0 262 18090 1
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... been a false trail. But what is the alternative? In his Ancient Theology (1972), Professor D.P. Walker discussed the Renaissance argument that God had revealed certain Christian truths to pagan sages such as Plato and Zoroaster. The argument was later extended to China – for example, by the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher and by the Chevalier Ramsay (another ...


Frank Kermode, 8 June 1995

Angus Wilson 
by Margaret Drabble.
Secker, 714 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 436 20038 4
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... to get him over an early breakdown and then work, as he did, with such concentrated force. D.P. Walker took the same tough line on Calder; I suppose they had had a serious talk about him. One could be expelled from this club. The early death of Calder coincided almost to the day with that of Walker, Perkin as he was ...

Rabelais’s Box

Peter Burke, 3 April 1980

by M.A. Screech.
Duckworth, 494 pp., £35, November 1979, 9780715609705
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... of Christian freedom. Less obvious still are the references to Hebrew legend and to what D.P. Walker has called the ‘Ancient Theology’. Professor Screech shows that the story of Pantagruel’s ancestor the giant Hurtaly, who survived the Flood by riding astride the Ark, is derived from a rabbinical story of Og, King of Bashan. He also suggests that ...

In place of fairies

Simon Schaffer, 2 December 1982

Stolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic 
by Daniel O’Keefe.
Martin Robertson, 581 pp., £17.50, September 1982, 0 85520 486 9
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Scienze, Credenze Occulti, Livelli di Cultura 
edited by Paola Zambelli.
Leo Olschki, 562 pp., April 1982, 88 222 3069 8
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... Institute in London as one modern source of respect for the occult, and one of its members, D.P. Walker, shows by contrast that Catholic clergy could use spirit apparitions and demonic possession as weapons against Lutherans, atheists, Jews and subversives. Important papers by Paola Zambelli, Elisabeth Labrousse and Paolo Galluzzi indicate the ways in which ...

‘Faustus’ and the Politics of Magic

Charles Nicholl, 8 March 1990

Dr Faustus 
by Christopher Marlowe, edited by Roma Gill.
Black, 109 pp., £3.95, December 1989, 0 7136 3231 3
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Renaissance Magic and the Return of the Golden Age: The Occult Tradition and Marlowe, Jonson and Shakespeare 
by John Mebane.
Nebraska, 309 pp., £26.95, July 1989, 0 8032 3133 4
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Robert Fludd and the End of the Renaissance 
by William Huffman.
Routledge, 252 pp., £30, November 1989, 0 415 00129 3
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Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England 
by Patrick Curry.
Polity, 238 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 7456 0604 0
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... of magic, and partly to the historical researches of scholars like Frances Yates, D.P. Walker and Peter French. In Renaissance Magic and the Return of the Golden Age, John Mebane offers an inclusive, deeply researched overview of the subject. He examines the many component parts of Renaissance occultism. It was, in the spirit of the time, a ...

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