• A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult

  • By: DK
  • Narrated by: Susie Riddell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Religious
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Discover the beguiling history of witchcraft, magic, and superstition through the centuries and across the world in this stunning audiobook.

A History of Magic, Witchcraft and the Occult charts the extraordinary narrative of one of the most interesting and often controversial subjects in the world - from ancient animal worship and shamanism, through alchemy and divination to modern Wicca and the resurgence of the occult in 21st-century literature, cinema, and television.

Providing listeners with a comprehensive, balanced, and unbiased account of everything from Japanese folklore and Indian witchcraft to the differences between black and white magic, and dispelling myths such as those surrounding the voodoo doll and Ouija, this audiobook explores the common human fear of and fascination with spells, superstition, and the supernatural. 

The perfect introduction to magic and the occult, it explores forms of divination from astrology and palmistry to the tarot and runestones, mystical plants and potions such as mandrake, the presence of witchcraft in literature from Shakespeare's Macbeth to the Harry Potter series, and the ways in which magic has interacted with religion.

The most comprehensive history of witchcraft available, A History of Magic, Witchcraft and the Occult will enthrall and fascinate you with its lavish, accessible entries, whether you are a believer or skeptic.

©2020 Dorling Kindersley Ltd (P)2020 DK Audio

Critic Reviews

“This book provides a fascinating overview of the history of magic, with some emphasis on witchcraft and the occult, presented in an easily browsed, highly visual format.” (Booklist)

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks to Uncover the Magical World of the Occult


The word "occult" is used in books and movies to conjure up dark, scary subjects, but it's about much more than horror. Occultism is defined by supernatural beliefs and practices, such as magic, mysticism, and spirituality. Basically, the occult refers to happenings that are beyond the range of everyday experience and logical explanation or fall outside the scope of religion and science. We’ve curated a list of audiobooks to satisfy all levels of curiosity.

What listeners say about A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Decent Primer on Magical Traditions

This is a very brief but solid review of many of the world's magical traditions. It by no means provides a deep examination of any one magical belief or practice but it makes up for that in it's breadth and speed. Speaking to the audible version specifically, I was very impressed by the narrator's pronunciations of the multivarious names, places and ritual items which are encompassed in the book. Truly bravura effort.

The book is clearly an illustration rich volume and occasionally you will hear evidence of that in the audio. There are many instances where the narrator will refer to a non-existent picture or illustration but none of that is distracting in the least to the overall experience.

Aside from that I would recommend this audio book for anyone interested in dipping their toe into the history of magical traditions around the world. Just know that this is only your first stop.

8 people found this helpful

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Very Pleased!🙃🙂

I was feeling kinda reserved about trying audible books on my Wiccan/pagan/heathen interest but after just a few chapters of a few different things it's as good as my paper books as far as access but visual aid would be Handy especially when Herb gathering. All in All impressed.
Blessed Be

7 people found this helpful

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Disconnected

A kind of pop history, written to give you a few fun facts to memorize, but fails to explore the philosophies that led to those beliefs, being why they believed they worked. Without that, most of this will seem very silly from a modern perspective.

4 people found this helpful

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Super high level flyby

Super high level flyby of a very complex topic. Narrator was only so so her pronunciation of foreign words was overly dramatic and I found it a bit annoying.

4 people found this helpful

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Fun listening while looking at pictures in book

The artwork is plentiful in book. Many topics covered. The narrator has an good accent for this genre.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome Insight!

If you are a lover of history, you will appreciate the impact. The 'Reader's Digest' shortness, but to the point, presents so other breadcrumbs for us to follow, if we so choose. Enjoy! I did!! And I will probably be listening several times. :)

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it

I love this book. Very informative. Had to order to highlight and study. Shared with friends

2 people found this helpful

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Solid overview...

Macro look at all this subject matter. There's no deep diving here. Just basics. But a good overview. Good reading by Riddell.

1 person found this helpful

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History through the ages

I loved it, just wished it was more in depth, but it does cover a lot of topics.