The Lost Magic of the Belle Époque
(nonfiction – history – occult)
Release date: October 30, 2016
at Inner Traditions • Bear & Company
Historian Tobias Churton explores the magical, artistic, and intellectual world of the Belle Époque Paris. He brings into full perspective the personalities, and forces that made Paris a global magnet and which allowed later cultural movements, such as the “psychedelic 60s,” to rise from the ashes of post-war Europe.
PRAISE FOR OCCULT PARIS
“Music, art, literature, mysticism–fin-de-siècle Paris had it all in great abundance, and in Tobias Churton’s latest tome he uncovers the hidden and not-so-hidden connections between Satie, Debussy, Redon, Rops, Khnopff, Gauguin, Crowley, Lévi, Papus, Mathers, Péladan, Michelet, Blavatsky, Reuss, Huysmans, Breton, and countless others. . . . Eminently readable and filled with meticulous historical details, this is a fabulous depiction of one of the most exciting and fervent periods of creativity in modern times.”
John Zorn, composer-performer
“No one can evoke the feel of a place and an era like Tobias Churton! This is Paris in the Belle Époque, but behind the city of the can-can, Toulouse-Lautrec, and the Moulin Rouge, Churton shows us a Paris of seekers in mysterious worlds–magic, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, alchemy–and of artists, writers, and composers who were also drawn to those realms. The spirit of their compelling quest is stamped on every page of this book.”
Christopher McIntosh, Ph.D., author of Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is Britain’s leading scholar
of Western Esotericism,
a world authority on Gnosticism,
Hermeticism, and Rosicrucianism.
An Honorary Fellow of Exeter University,
where he is a faculty lecturer,
he holds a master’s degree in Theology
from Brasenose College, Oxford,
and is the author of many books,
including Gnostic Philosophy and
Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin.
He lives in England.
Visit his website.
I found myself really appreciating the lengths that the author went through to present this book dealing with side of history that isn’t really at the forefront for whatever reason.
I found the parts covering the topics of symbolism and mysticism particularly interesting and enjoyed how they were presented.
I’d recommend this title to all those with an interest in France in particular during the early 1900s with an interest in the fringe factor of society at the time.
Sometimes overly detailed and possibly offering inaccurate or partial information, Occult Paris remains a note-worthy exploration of the multiplicity of occult movements in Paris during the Belle Époque, with a focus on their relationship with the artistic world.
Despite a few tedious chapters, Churton has written a lively portrayal of the secretive, late 19th-century Paris.
Occult Paris isn’t an easy read but you’ll be rewarded with the knowledge of its veiled history after you’re done.
There is a great deal of information in this book, and for someone better versed, I have no doubt that it would be a gold mine and inspiration, compelling and intense.
This is not a book for a beginner.
Background knowledge of this particular subject is highly required and recommended.