Magic and Superstition Author:Douglas Hill Even people who say they will not touch wood, cross their fingers or avoid walking under ladders. In all the crises of life - whether in birth or death, war or peace, work or love, superstitions offer an uncanny support for which most of us are only too grateful. They even survive in the games we play, and many who remember ducking apples at H... more »alloween, or avoiding cracks in the pavements, will be fascinated to learn what they were actually doing.
Douglas Hill, a well-known writer in this field, traces the natural history of man's beliefs, and shows how magic and superstition once exercised a strong power over every stage of our lives, when almost every natural phenomenon had some influence over future events, and great care had to be taken to keep on the right side of the Powers behind birds, cats, storms or stones. In our science-worshipping society it is, perhaps, unfashionable to be superstitious. But if magic and sorcery are theoretically less important, they nevertheless survive in a remarkable number of ways, and in practice most people acknowledge their power, and with good reason.
Two hundred photographs, engravings and color plates show the presence of magic in every conceivable society and period. The reader can hunt with the caveman, see modern primitives performing secret rites, and discover the mysterious and now forgotten origins of Christian and other civilized ceremonies.« less