Witchcraft

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Charles Williams was one of the Inklings, the circle of literary and theological writers which centred on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In Witchcraft, he provides an esoteric and intellectually provocative history of witchcraft and magic in the Christian era.

As readable as a thriller but full of profound theological insight, Williams’ book explores the sombre and lurid history of the reaction to witchcraft as well as its most famous cases.

Written before the rise of Wicca and the feminist embracing of witchcraft, this is a rediscovered classic, by one of the major minds of English Christianity in the twentieth century.

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Paying Guests

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A social comedy by E F Benson, with all the scheming and one-up-man-ship familiar from the Mapp and Lucia novels. Paying Guests includes a guesthouse in a faded resort, an art exhibition and a charity concert. But there’s also a more profound side to this novel, which explores sexuality, love, and philosophy.

The seaside-inspired cover of the book is actually based on a photo of Henley, taken on a trip for a cousin’s wedding, which seems a suitably EF Benson-style anecdote.