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Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
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Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A comprehensive account of the rich folk culture preserved in the rural secret societies of the British Isles

• Describes the secret rites, ceremonies, and initiation rituals of guilds and rural fraternities such as the Shoemakers, Horsemen, Toadmen, Mummers, and Bonesmen

• Explains their use of masks, black face, and other disguises to avoid persecution

• Draws not only o
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Destiny Books
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  18 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Jeannette Nikolova
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

I don't deny being interested by this thorough and well-researched book, but simultaneously, I also can't not mention my disappointment by the misleading title. I'm sure that whoever came up with the title of the book was very well aware that it would bring a lot more attention to it than a more truthful description of the contents.

In reality, this book is a lot more about folklore and the initiation rites of secret societies in rural England, than it i
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Izzie
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not the usual kind of thing I read at all, but this book was a fascinating insight into rural culture in England, something which I know very little about despite being English, having always lived in big cities. It has certainly made me want to find out more about the tradition of witchcraft in this country.
Elaine
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley, non-fic
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England.

Like another reviewer noted, this book was not what I expected.

With 'witchcraft' in the title (which I'm sure was purely for PR and marketing reasons), this informative and well researched book had very little to do with witchcraft, its origins, traditions and rituals.

Yes, there are stories about 'wise women and men' with knowledge about herbs, herbal remedies and ways of curing illness and performing medi
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Belinda Witzenhausen
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
by Nigel Pennick from NetGalley and Inner Traditions/Destiny Books in order to read and give an honest review.

As a fantasy fiction writer, I have read some of Mr Pennick’s previous works as research material in the past, so this was right up my alley.

This author is prolific and knowledgeable when it comes to the folklore that surrounds paganism and
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Vivienne
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: folkore, witchcraft
My thanks to Inner Traditions/Destiny Books for an digital edition of Nigel Pennick’s ‘Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England’ in exchange for an honest review.

Its subtitle is ‘the Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers and Bonesmen’ and was originally published in the U.K. in 2011 under the title of ‘In Field and Fen’.

Nigel Pennick has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects including natural magic, folklore, sacred geometry, and runes. He is also a marine biologist, who
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Lynne Thompson
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a cultural history of eastern England, centered around an area called The Fens. It's about the collection of secret societies, some formally organized and others, not so much, that existed for hundreds of years. While I was familiar with groups like the Freemasons and OddFellows, I had no idea there were societies such as the Horsemen, the Ploughmen, Toadmen, et al., that were organized into secret groups with passwords, special hand grips, initiations, and such like, that were pass ...more
Jennifer Young
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t quite know where to begin with Nigel Pennick’s Witchcraft and Secret Societies in Rural England, except to say that I really enjoyed it. It’s not like any other book I’ve ever read, and I suppose it did have its limitations, but in a bizarre way it was fun and I learned a lot.

The book’s a bit of a slow starter. It’s almost a quarter of the way through before we actually got to any secret societies and witchcraft, and much of the opening was taken up with a detailed description of the ar
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Cozy Cat Reviews
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read previous works by the author and always enjoy his well documented well researched topics. This was a fascinating book that I highly recommend to anyone that is interest in Scottish History and the societies of ancient English life.
Here he writes of the the Anglo Saxon of Nordics, the runes , secret Guilds and Houses of the time of ancient English customs. He writes of tradesmen , the Free Masons and the Scottish Rote history. He writes of how they amassed wealth, how they practiced
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Kira
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review. The review is my opinion.

I enjoyed this book while at the same time it wasn’t exactly what I expected. With the word Witchcraft being the first word in the title I did expect more emphasis on the rural traditions of witches. There was mention of course of witches, but it still was less than what I thought would be there.

That all being stated, I did find the book to be interesting and well researched. I learned some cool fact
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Rebecca
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this but it was just a really slow & boring read for me. It was well researched but it just didn’t pull me in.
Alexandra
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Reader is introduced to a nice range of the topics in the title. It is not in-depth and reader is given an overview and nice information.
Scott Marlowe
Mar 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Completely nonsensical. I have no idea what this book is supposed to be about. It’s most certainly not about what the cover says.
Tina
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was a really interesting, informative book. I've always had an interest in secret societies and such. The book covers some more obscure groups (at least, some I hadn't heard of). I really enjoyed it
Christina
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting, but sometimes a bit drawn out. But overall, a decent read. I voluntarily read this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Annarella
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like history book and this is an interesting and well researched one.
I loved how it illustrates the traditions, the jobs and the costumes of the different areas.
It was a good read, engaging and fascinating.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
Shelly
rated it liked it
May 26, 2019
KatsCauldron
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England
The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
by Nigel Pennick
Nigel is a prolific author on multiple subjects. I think his favorite being the occult and Great Britain's history, folklore and customs. Anything to do with the Mercia/East Angela /Northumberland he probably knows about. This also led him into the Anglo Saxon fusion of Nordic customs, ways and writing namely the runes and how they were added onto in Britain. He is a mummer
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Kim Tobin
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
An incredibly intricate account, taking the reader through the ages of secret societies and magic in England. Not a quick, captivating read by any stretch but I did find many parts interesting and very thorough. Perfect for referencing the beginnings of Freemasonry and British folklore.
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Nigel Campbell Pennick, born 1946 in Guildford, Surrey, England in the United Kingdom, an author publishing on occultism, magic, natural magic, divination, subterranea, rural folk customs, traditional performance and Celtic art as well as runosophy.
He is a writer on marine species as well as an occultist and geomancer, artist and illustrator, stained-glass designer and maker, musician and mummer.
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