Author Topic: Charles Godfrey Leland  (Read 3724 times)

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Charles Godfrey Leland
« on: May 01, 2007, 06:43:38 am »
Mentioned in another thread recently. Fifteen years after repaying Passamaquoddy people's hospitality by falsifying their spirituality to suit his own needs, he published what has become one of the founding texts of Wicca: Aradia, Or the Gospel of the Witches.

He maintained that his book was a translation of the main religious document of a cult of Italian witches surviving entirely un-noticed since pre-Christian times - until a mysterious personage known only as Maddalena decided to confide everything in an elderly American journalist. See, as always, Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon for an empathetic but damning overview.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 09:38:35 am by Barnaby_McEwan »

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: Charles Godfrey Leland
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2007, 04:26:35 pm »
Quote
He maintained that his book was a translation of the main religious document of a cult of Italian witches surviving entirely un-noticed since pre-Christian times - until a mysterious personage known only as Maddalena decided to confide everything in an elderly American journalist.

Gosh Barnaby, are you sure this shouldn't be in the comedy section?  ;D

Offline Juliet

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Re: Charles Godfrey Leland
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2007, 03:08:26 pm »
If a man will misrepresent people who are still here, and talked to him, I don't see why he wouldn't just flat out lie about there being an Italian coven.  Or maybe he did to them what he did to the Passamoquoddy.

I haven't read his book.  Tell me, does he repeat the one about a Europe-wide witch-cult?  (An unfortunate number of modern pagans do believe in that one, despite plenty of historical evidence that pre-Christian peoples had many different religious beliefs.  Margaret Murray did neo-pagans no favors.)