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New Book - Cornish Witchcraft


Ancestral Celt

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A new book was published on 5th July 2008 that exposes the world of traditional witchcraft beliefs and associated folklore in Cornwall in the period before Gerald Gardner announced to the world his revival of witchcraft.

 

The Cornish Witch-finder—William Henry Paynter and the Witchery, Ghosts, Charms and Folklore of Cornwall

 

Selected and Introduced by Jason Semmens

 

Publisher: The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-902660-39-7 256 pages

Price: ?11.95

 

William Henry Paynter (1901–1976) was a folklorist, antiquary and bard of the Cornish Gorsedd who specialised in collecting witch-stories and folklore during the 1920s and 1930s. The inter-war years saw the steady decline of witch beliefs and folk traditions in Cornwall and Paynter’s collecting preserved many tales of witchery and magic that would otherwise have been lost.

 

Paynter travelled all over Cornwall on what he called his ‘Witch Hunt’ and was popularly called “The Cornish Witch-finder” for the novelty of his research. Paynter’s findings were of particular importance to the early Cornish-Celtic revival that looked to folklore as a sign of cultural ‘otherness,’ and while his work had considerable impact in his own day Paynter is little known in our own as he published his findings in the ephemeral regional newspapers and local journals.

 

As Paynter wrote about traditional beliefs before they largely disappeared after the Second World War his writings may be said to comprise the last great collection of Cornish folklore, standing alongside those of the nineteenth-century Cornish folklorists Robert Hunt, William Bottrell and Margaret Courtney. With the interest that exists in traditional witch beliefs from the period before the mid twentieth-century advent of modern pagan witchcraft, Paynter’s writings are essential reading as they provide a detailed insight into what the Cornish actually believed about witchcraft in pre-Gardnerian days, written by someone who was there to witness traditional witchcraft beliefs and practices at first hand. This volume brings together the most significant parts of Paynter’s research for the first time and sets his work in context.

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I agree, this does looks quite interesting. Is it available for purchase yet? I too looked online and couldn't find it.

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Guest Silverivy

I am going to have to get this book too. I think it can be ordered from The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies website. I googled them and they have a shop section were you can purchase the books they have published.

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  • 3 weeks later...

^^in addition to that it is listed in amazon HERE

But it says "Out of Print--Limited Availability."

Which I find odd. Didn't it just come out this July 7 this year.

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  • 4 months later...

Greetings

Just in case those who wanted one don’t know Yet Traditional Witchcraft A Cornish Book of ways by Gemma Gary is now available from her (updated and expanded) website.

 

"Explore the living practices of Traditional Witchcraft in Cornwall with a collection of Traditional, established ways and new innovations relating to the rites, spells, charms, working tools and magical recipes of the Cornish Craft. This book covers such areas as the gathering and use of land sprowl, the Cornish spirit world, Bucca, gathering and fashioning the tools of the Cornish Craft, conjuring the Compass, celebrating the Troyl, working with places of power, Crafting powders, suffumigations, oils and charms, working with the moon, celebrating the Cornish ritual year and more."

 

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A new book was published on 5th July 2008 that exposes the world of traditional witchcraft beliefs and associated folklore in Cornwall in the period before Gerald Gardner announced to the world his revival of witchcraft.

 

Got it, read it, loved it. For you US folks ... if you pay by Paypal it's easiest 'cuz their pounds-to-dollars conversion is less expensive than yer standard Mastercard. The Old Cornwall Society does ship to the US and I can tell you that's the fastest package I've EVER gotten out of the UK!

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  • 3 years later...

 

Got it, read it, loved it. For you US folks ... if you pay by Paypal it's easiest 'cuz their pounds-to-dollars conversion is less expensive than yer standard Mastercard. The Old Cornwall Society does ship to the US and I can tell you that's the fastest package I've EVER gotten out of the UK!

 

Would anyone who has read this care to do a review? I would love to know some details about it. :)

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