From Fact to Fallacy:The Evolution of Margaret Alice Murray’s Witch-Cult
Keywords:Mary Alice Murray, Witch cult
AbstractThe evolution of Margaret Murray’s theory of a historical witch-cult deserves as much scrutiny as the topic of witchcraft itself. Its widespread acceptance despite glaring inaccuracies to the eyes of a modern reader testifies how little interest the academic world had in witchcraft in the first half of the twentieth century. Its enduring popularity in the face of contrary evidence reveals the emotional nerve struck by Murray’s works. Today there are those still devoted to the concept of an ancient witch-cult, and they credit Murray with discovering it, even though the cult they describe may bear almost no relation to Murray’s witches.
Baroja, Julio Caro. The World of the Witches, translated by O.N.V. Glendinning. Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1961; reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971.
Buckland, Raymond. The Complete Book of Witchcraft. 1986; reprint, St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1991.
Burr, G. L. “Review of The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology,” The American Historical Review 27.4 (July 1922): 780-83.
???. “Review of The God of the Witches,” The American Historical Review 40.3 (April 1935): 491-92.
Cohn, Norman. Europe’s Inner Demons. New York: Basic Books, 1975.
Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1988.
Ewen, C. L’Estrange. “Review of Witchcraft in England,” The American Historical Review 53.2 (January 1948): 325-26.
Frew, Donald. “Methodological Flaws in Recent Studies of Historical and Modern Witchcraft,” Ethnologies 20.1 (1998): 33-65.
Gardner, Gerald B. Witchcraft Today. 1954; reprint, New York: Citadel Press, 1970.
H, J. H. “Review of The Werewolf,” Man 34 (November 1934): 182-83.
Hole, Christina. Witchcraft in England: Some Episodes in the History of English Witchcraft. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1977.
Hsu, Francis L. K. “Review of Witchcraft,” The Journal of American Folklore. 67.263 (January—March 1954): 85-86.
Hutton, Ronald. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
???. “Paganism and Polemic: The Debate over the Origins of Modern Pagan Witchcraft,” Folklore 111.1 (April 2000): 103-17.
Huxley, Aldous. The Devils of Loudun. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1953.
Hyman, Stanley Edgar. “Review of English Folk Heroes,” The Journal of American Folklore 63.248 (April—June 1950): 254.
James, E. O. “Obituaries: Dr. Margaret Murray,” Folklore 74 (Winter 1963): 568-69.
Kitteredge, George Lyman. Witchcraft in Old and New England. New York: Russell & Russell, 1956.
Larner, Christina. Witchcraft and Religion: The Politics of Popular Belief. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984.
Loeb, E. M. “Review of The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology,” American Anthropologist, New Series 24.4 (October—December 1922): 476-78.
Macfarlane, Alan. “Review of The God of the Witches,” Man 6.3 (September 1971): 506.
Monter, E. William. “The Historiography of European Witchcraft: Progress and Prospects,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2.4 (Spring 1972): 435-51.
Monter, William. “European Witchcraft: A Moment of Synthesis?” The Historical Journal 31.1 (March 1988): 183-85.
Murray, Margaret. The Divine King of England: A Study in Anthropology. London: Faber and Faber, 1954.
???. My First Hundred Years. London: William Kimber, 1963.
???. The God of the Witches. 1933; reprint, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970.
???. The Witch-Cult of Western Europe. 1921; reprint, with a forword by Sir Steven Runciman, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.
Murray, Robert H. “Review of The Witch Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology,” The English Historical Review 37.146 (April 1922): 276-77.
Parrinder, Geoffrey. Witchcraft: European and African. 1958; reprint, London: Faber and Faber, 1963.
Ravenwolf, Silver. To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1993.
Rose, Elliot. A Razor for a Goat: Problems in the History of Witchcraft and Diabolism. 1962; reprint, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.
Simpson, Jacqueline. “Margaret Murray: Who Believed Her, and Why?” Folklore 105.1/2 (1994): 89-96.
???. “Scholarship and Margaret Murray: A Response to Donald Frew,” Ethnologies 22.2 (2000): 281-88.
Starhawk. Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex and Politics. Boston: Beacon Press, 1982.
Thomas, Keith. Religion and the Decline of Magic. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.
Valiente, Doreen. Witchcraft for Tomorrow. London: Robert Hale; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978.
Wood, Juliette. “Margaret Murray and the Rise of Wicca,” The Pomegranate 15 (Winter 2001): 45-52.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.