books · review

Mini review: A Victorian Grimoire by Patricia J. Telesco

This will be a different review than you’re used to, it’s a non-fiction, pagan primer, so to speak, I’ve had on the TBR list…

61HZ2YQX0XL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_A Victorian Grimoire by Patricia J. Telesco

Personal purchase…quite a few years ago!

A Victorian Grimoire had some interesting historical tidbits–not as much as I’d hoped, and some were a bit… well? Elementary…or maybe even unnecessary. For instance, the table of Lunar terms, featuring “Llewellyn terms” particularly was worthy of an eyeroll. *tsk*. Our Victorian ancestors used the same names for the moon phases, so there was no need for that translation (for lack of a better term). I’m not sure whose decision that was hers, or the publishers but it was unnecessary.


But there were some interesting little pieces here and there. For instance, speaking of summer solstice (happy summer solstice!), there are a  few ideas for celebrating the day for instance, serving a fruit salad with your summer solstice dinner or some kind of fruit based cake that you might like. So that was a nifty suggestion. Some others were things like, the rituals and superstitions surrounding parasols and weather vanes, serving tea, and the Victorian use of flower language. Here’s one I bet many of you still do: pressing flowers or putting aloe on a burn or cut? Yep. It was done in the Victorian era (probably long before, too!). How much of her research is historically accurate and not just a Llewellyn new age construction? Well,I did recognize some things there that I remember my grandparents doing. (Although, in lieu of gargling w/ mint and brandy for a sore throat, my grandmother advocates vinegar and water. Tastes nasty, but you know what? It helps! and my mother airing out the house after winter or a fight. Using tea bags for sachets? Maybe, but we used them–or at least the tea inside (and coffee grinds!)– to fertilize plants. I do have to admit, I’ve referred to the flower language section before in picking plants for my garden–and some of my heroines. 🙂

All in all, little nitpicky things aside, I enjoyed the book and if you like Victorian lore and fanciful ideas this might be for you. This one doesn’t seem to have been made into ebook, but the paperback is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.


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