A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult
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A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult

The occult was a crucial influence on the Renaissance, and it obsessed the popular thinkers of the day. But with the Age of Reason, occultism was sidelined; only charlatans found any use for it. Occult ideas did not disappear, however, but rather went underground. It developed into a fruitful source of inspiration for many important artists. Works of brilliance, sometimes even of genius, were produced under its influence. In A Dark Muse, Lachman discusses the Enlightenment obsession with occult politics, the Romantic explosion, the futuristic occultism of the fin de siècle, and the deep occult roots of the modernist movement. Some of the writers and thinkers featured in this hidden history of western thought and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. K. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.

Title:A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:378 pages

    A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult Reviews

  • Hilary
    Feb 25, 2016

    My full review can be found here. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it an enthralling, well-researched primer on the history of the occult. It is worth noting that this book fo...

  • Tim Pendry
    May 05, 2012

    This is one of Gary Lachman's lighter weight excursions into the history of the esoteric but it is well worth having in the Library.In effect, it is a series of suggestive and rather entertaining biog...

  • Justin
    Jun 15, 2009

    This is the type of book I wish I had stumbled across many years ago. A guidebook to the history of the ideas of spirituality.As a student of esoteric thought and spiritual development, I'm interested...

  • Stuart
    Oct 30, 2016

    A decently written collection of short biographies of western occultists from the late renaissance to the early modern era. Hews a shade too closely to the author's idiosyncracies. Nice contextualizat...

  • GooseberryCompote
    Oct 07, 2016

    Occult means hidden. Believe me when I say that clear compendiums on occult topics are hard to come by. Why Hollywood has not yet made a swashbuckling period comedy romance drama unreliable-narrator a...

  • Oscar
    Jan 04, 2012

    This is certainly a book that could had benefited from a different title, and while we are at it, a different cover. Hiding behind a stereotypical ‘creepy and occult’ cover is an examination of th...

  • Sheila
    May 20, 2015

    And to think, I won't even go near a Ouija board. This book opens a door to a world I don't plan on visiting, although it's interesting to glimpse from afar. Sure made me understand how much I don't k...

  • Erik
    Feb 20, 2012

    Good, but not great. I have an interest in the subject and Lachman is an excellent source for this sort of information, but with this book, and also in the case of another of his that I read before, c...

  • Scott Smith
    Feb 17, 2016

    This is an amazing overview of many diverse figures in occult history. It doesn't just gloss over figures, every person represented seems to get at least a fair representation. Divided into 'Enlighten...

  • Linda
    Jan 08, 2011

    I was really disappointed in this one. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting but the author (who was a founding member of Blondie) gave a short review of several different eras of "occultism" and ...