The Myth of Historical Narrative: Margaret Murray's The God of the Witches


  • Nancy Ramsey University of California, Santa Barbara



An important area of contention that arises when the scholars of today approach the religions of Witchcraft and Paganism concerns the origins of modern Witchcraft and whether any historical continuity exists between contemporary Pagans and the ancient pagan religions of Europe.


Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

Burstein, Sona. “Some Modern Books on Witchcraft.” Folklore 71 (1961): 520-34.

Cohn, Norman. Europe’s Inner Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch-Hunt. New York: Basic Books, 1975.

Eliade, Mircea. Occultism, Witchcraft, and Cultural Fashions: Essays in Comparative Religions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.

Franklin, Julian. Death by Enchantment: An Examination of Ancient and Modern Witchcraft. London: Hamilton, 1971.

Ginzburg, Carlo. Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath. trans. Raymond Rosenthal. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991.

Murray, Margaret A. “Organisations of Witches in Great Britain.” Folklore 28 (1917): 228- 58.

______. The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1921.

______. The God of the Witches. 1931. Reprint, New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Parrinder, Geoffrey. Witchcraft: European and African. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1963.

Robbins, Rossell Hope. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Crown Publishers, 1981.

Rose, Elliot. A Razor for a Goat: A Discussion of Certain Problems in the History of Witchcraft and Diabolism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962.

Russell, Jeffrey B. Witchcraft in the Middle Ages. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972.

______. A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics and Pagans. New York: Thames & Hudson, 1980.

Simpson, Jacqueline. “Margaret Murray: Who Believed Her, and Why?” Folklore 105 (1994): 89-96.

Summers, Montague, ed., trans, and intro; 1948 edition The Malleus Maleficarium, by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. 1928. Reprint, New York: Dover, 1992.

______. The History of Witchcraft and Demonology. 1956. Reprint, New Jersey: University Book, 1973.

Trevor-Roper, H.R. “From the Ethnography of Witchcraft.” In Witchcraft and Sorcery, ed. Max Marwick, 121-150. Baltimore: Penguin, 1970.



How to Cite

Ramsey, N. (2020). The Myth of Historical Narrative: Margaret Murray’s The God of the Witches. Pomegranate, 2–15.



Notes from the Underground