Classic Review: Doreen Valiente’s “An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present”

Doreen Valiente's "An ABC of Modern Witchcraft Past and Present"
An ABC of Modern Witchcraft Past and Present reviewed in "The Wiccan" issue 31.

To mark the occasion of Saturday’s opening of the Doreen Valiente Collection exhibition in Brighton, and Sunday’s book signing of her biography, we would like to re-present the first time Pagan Dawn ever reviewed one of Doreen’s books.

The following was published in Issue 31 of The Wiccan (PD’s original title) on 7th April 1973:

LITERARY CORNER. “AN A B C OF WITCHCRAFT PAST & PRESENT” by Doreen Valiente (Robert Hale  @ £3-50p), is a MUST for all students of this subject!

This book is written with the careful erudition and knowledgeability and forthright style we have come to expect from Doreen, and is very warmly recommended.

It is a pity that rising prices have been reflected in the cost of this book, which we are convinced will undoubtedly be sought as a classic and reliable source of information amongst a literature which has included so much misinformed amateurish garbage. This is a new book and a copy should be held by at least every Coven and Pagan Group in the U.K. and abroad. (Weight about 1¾ lbs; 363½  pages plus Contents, illustrations and Index, and an excellent introduction by the author).

This is the first in a regular series of classic reviews we will be posting to this site and eventually the whole library of PD book reviews going back nearly 50 years will be available to browse.

See Launch details for the first Doreen Valiente Collection exhibition for more on yesterday’s opening and today’s signing.