Further Reading

I’m often asked how I came up with the magical system of the Downside books. It’s based loosely on British Traditional Witchcraft, with a bit of folklore and legend and even made-up stuff thrown in. So I thought it might be interesting to list here the books that I’ve read that helped contribute to that system, and to the world in general–a few of them were quite important in creating Downspeech, for example (The Word Museum was the big one there), and in helping me get the “feel” of Downside right.

Some of these books were more useful than others; some were really only there for a little background, or as a way of comparing my idea with some others ones, or whatever. And admittedly, this isn’t my entire witchcraft library, it’s just the ones I found the most useful or interesting. I have several of those “Wicca 101” type books, which are interesting, but many contain essentially the same information and they’re available on most bookstore shelves anyway. Plus since I’m not Wiccan and didn’t base the system of the books in any way on Wicca it seems pointless to include them here.

Also, it’s very possible some of these will be extremely difficult to find. I’m pretty sure some are out of print; I picked up quite a few of them at used bookstores or secondhand shops. But it’s still worth looking. You never know what will turn up online or at Goodwill or Oxfam, right?

So, in no particular order:

MASTERING THE ART OF WITCHCRAFT Paul Huson

CRONE’S BOOK OF SPELLS AND CHARMS Valerie Worth

HIGH-RISE WITCH Fiona Walker-Craven

CALL OF THE HORNED PIPER Nigel Aldcroft Jackson

THE GOODLY SPELLBOOK “Lady Passion” & “Duivei”

NECROPOLIS: LONDON AND ITS DEAD Catharine Arnold

UNDERGROUND LONDON: TRAVELS BENEATH THE CITY STREETS Stephen Smith

HUBBUB: NOISE, FILTH & STENCH IN ENGLAND Emily Cockayne

POWER WITHIN THE LAND R.J. Stewart

WITCHCRAFT IN ENGLAND Christina Hole

THE LORE OF THE LAND: A GUIDE TO ENGLAND’S LEGENDS Westwood & Simpson

THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES Manly P. Hall

THE GOLDEN BOUGH Sir James Frazer

THE FAIRY FAITH IN CELTIC COUNTRIES Arthur Edward Waite

THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF 5000 SPELLS Judika Illes

THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WITCHCRAFT Judika Illes

LIVING DRUIDRY Emma Restall Orr

WITCHCRAFT IN ENGLAND 1558-1618 Edited by Barbara Rosen

IRISH WITCHCRAFT FROM AN IRISH WITCH Lora O’Brien

CHILDREN OF THE SALMON (AND OTHER IRISH FOLKTALES) Eileen O’Faolain

MAGIC OF THE CELTIC UNDERWORLD Steve Blamires

BLOOD MAGICK Seth

CASSELL’S DICTIONARY OF WITCHCRAFT David Pickering

THE STATIONS OF THE SUN Ronald Hutton

THE BOOK OF BLACK MAGIC Arthur Edward Waite

THE SECRETS OF HIGH MAGIC Francis Melville

THE MAGICAL UNIVERSE: EVERYDAY RITUAL & MAGIC IN PRE-MODERN EUROPE Stephen Wilson

NATURAL WITCHCRAFT Marian Green

A WITCH ALONE Marian Green

THE BOOK OF RESULTS Ray Sherwin

A WITCH’S TREASURY OF THE COUNTRYSIDE Melusine Draco & Paul Harris

BASIC SIGIL MAGIC Phillip Cooper

KINDLING THE CELTIC SPIRIT Mara Freeman

TALISMANS & AMULETS Felicitas H. Nelson

CURIOUS COUNTRY CUSTOMS Jeremy Hobson

PANATI’S EXTRAORDINARY ENDINGS OF PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY Charles Panati

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SIGNS & SYMBOLS Adele Mozedar

THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD E.A. Wallis Budge

WITCHES WEREWOLVES AND FAIRIES Claude Lecouteaux

THE LONDON MOB Robert Shoemaker

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON’S FAIRY TALES

THE BROTHERS GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES

PERRAULT’S FAIRY TALES

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF BIRDS Adele Nozedar

THE OCCULT Colin Wilson

CONMEN & CUTPURSES Edited by Lucy Moore

THE WORD MUSEUM Jeffrey Kacirk

THE POCKET BOOK OF DEATH Morgan Reilly & Joanna Tempest

CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM-EATER Thomas de Quincy

THE HORNED SHEPHERD Edgar Jepson

AT DAY’S CLOSE: A HISTORY OF NIGHTTIME A. Roger Ekirch

THE GANGS OF NEW YORK Herbert Asbury

THE HELL-FIRE CLUBS Geoffrey Ashe

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SUPERSTITIONS E. & M.A. Radford

ENTERTAINING SATAN John Demos

RELIGION & MAGIC IN ANCIENT EGYPT Rosalie David

CELTIC MYTHS & LEGENDS T.W. Rolleston

STRANGE TALES Rudyard Kipling

THE WORST JOBS IN HISTORY Tony Robinson

TREADING THE MILL Nigel G. Pearson

THE BLACK ARTS Richard Cavendish