Nature Mystics: The Literary Gateway to Modern Paganism | Rebecca Beattie | Moon Books Pagan Portals
This book was a welcome chance to spend some time with authors I know and love, as well as discovering some new names. I am a long-time fan of Keats, Yeats and Tolkien in particular but names like Mary Webb and Elizabeth von Arnim were new to me.
Rebecca Beattie’s work will be familiar to PD readers, as she often explores the topic of sacred space in urban settings. In this book she is again on the hunt for all things numinous but this time the written page is her setting. For each author, Beattie puts their work in context with biographical and historical details, before moving on to consider their spiritual context and written work. It is an approach that leaves you with a good grounding on each and the capacity to go and find out more.
With a spread of writers of diverse styles, it is important to understand that Nature Mystics is an introduction to a much deeper body of knowledge. Moon Books’ Pagan Portals titles are intended as reasonably priced, accessible overviews and what you gain in breadth, you will inevitably lose in depth. To a Keats devotee, covering the great man in nine pages barely scratches the surface. However, how many other books by a popular author and nature mystic span 10 authors with notes and a corking bibliography and cost under a fiver?
Beattie’s work is, as always, assured, eminently readable and filled with a wonderfully present sense of joy. This has to be one of the best-value, most comprehensive literary overviews around and if you are a Pagan and a bit of a bookworm, it is a pleasure as well as a great jumping-off point to discovering some wonderful, lesser-known names.