BookLovers of Bath

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Saints and Sorcerers: A Moroccan Journey - Nina [Consuelo] Epton

London: Cassell, 1958, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good+ — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with heavier fading to the spine. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Pages gently tanned with scattered spotting throughout.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Maps; Colour frontispiece;

From the cover: “This is an extraordinary and fascinating book; both a travel guide to Morocco and a really fantastic guide to the magical practices which pervade that djinn-ridden country. If Nina Epton’s vivid imagery seems occasionally a little extravagant, her descriptions are entirely in keeping with the remarkable places, people, legends and magic which she brings to life. Morocco is a contrast of beauty and squalor, of twentieth-century customs and ancient beliefs. Into pictures of the splendid cities of Fez, Marrakech, Tetuan and the slums of Casablanca, are interposed stories of the sewing machine bewitched by the Evil Eye, of the weird, revolting spells and potions of professional witches, of ‘moon foam’ gathered in Muslim cemeteries at night, of complex Moroccan Jewish funerary rites, of the terrifying Aissaoua sect who become ‘possessed’ by animals and who mutilate themselves with hot irons, and of the negro secret society whose profession is exorcising spirits at weddings. An ardent seeker after the occult, whether ‘black’ or ‘white’, Miss Epton describes the gentler rites of the contemplative ascetic orders, the Sufist Derkaoua among them; and Morocco has many thousands of local saints, each with his collection of legends and miracles and his private retreat. Her search took her from shanty-town witches to dignified heads of holy orders whose extraordinary ceremonies she was permitted to witness. She is full of delightful anecdotes of past and present, such as that accounting for the great popularity of Coca-Cola in Morocco — the herb called kola there being a potent drug. When she talks of the occult, Miss Epton neither ridicules nor tries to convince; except when she discovers some obviously phoney magic, her attitude is that of the serious, respectful and uncommitted student. Her book is, in fact, a hagiographer’s guide to Morocco as well as an enthralling tourist’s companion.”

Size: 8¾" x 5¾". Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XII] 205 pages.

This one has already found a new owner.