The Triumph of the Moon

The Triumph of the Moon

A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
Presents a history of witchcraft as a religion, offering profiles of key figures and chronicling actual wiccan practices.

Oxford University Press
Here is a book that brings witchcraft out of the shadows. The Triumph of the Moon is the first full-scale study of the only religion England has ever given the world--modern pagan witchcraft, otherwise known as wicca. Meticulously researched, it provides a thorough account of an ancient religion that has spread from English shores across four continents.
For centuries, pagan witchcraft has been linked with chilling images of blood rituals, ghostlike druids, and even human sacrifices. But while Robert Hutton explores this dark side of witchery, he stresses the positive, reminding us that devotion to art, the natural world, femininity, and the classical deities are also central to the practice of wicca. Indeed, the author shows how leading figures in English literature--W.B. Yeats, D.H. Lawrence, and Robert Graves, just to name a few--celebrated these positive aspects of the religion in their work, thereby softening the public perception of witchcraft in Victorian England. From cunning village folk to freemasons and from high magic to the black arts, Hutton chronicles the fascinating process by which actual wiccan practices evolved into what is now a viable modern religion. He also presents compelling biographies of wicca's principal figures, such as Gerald Gardner, who was inducted into a witch coven at the age of 53, and recorded many clandestine rituals and beliefs.
Ronald Hutton is known for his colorful, provocative, and always thoroughly researched studies on original subjects. This work is no exception. It will appeal to anyone interested in witchcraft, paganism and alternative religions.

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999
ISBN: 9780198207443
Branch Call Number: 133.43 H979t
Characteristics: xv, 486 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 08, 2018

The sheer amount of research and academic labor that went into this book earns it at least four stars. The Triumph of the Moon also benefits greatly from the personal touch instilled by its author, who does an excellent job of acknowledging the effect that his personal experience has had on his conclusions while also standing by his integrity as a historian and providing counterpoints to those experiences. Hutton takes on the daunting task of contextualizing modern paganism within both obvious and obscure trends and events, and his effort has created an admirably fair and enriching look at how modern paganism developed especially in Britain over the last few centuries. While he focuses primarily on local events and specific times, he also dips in to other places and deeper history when needed, and his work is the richer both for that and for his erstwhile willingness to admit what he doesn't know (instead of following in the paths of several predecessors and passing his best guess off as accepted fact).
An incredibly informative and generally well-written account of an understudied movement, invaluable to both the historically curious and the self-aware witch.

CGorham Oct 24, 2011

This is a fantastic read for anyone interested in the evolution of modern pagan witchcraft in Great Britain, whether or not you personally identify as pagan. It is "densely researched", as the liner notes so aptly put it (could you expect anything less from Oxford?), and while there is an incredible amount of information to process, it is engaging, wonderfully written, and truly unique in it's undertaking of the subject. It's a breath of fresh air in a field where evenhanded parsing of historical records is a rare occurrence, and I would hope that anyone walking a pagan path would take the time to read it.

A pleasure to read from cover to cover!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

PPL owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

To Top