Stuart McWilliams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Magic is an elusive and disputed idea, and there are complex connections between fictional uses of magical tropes – in, for example, romances – and the “real” discourses and practices of medieval magic, which might take the form of praestigia (illusion), mathematica(divination), maleficia (evil magic), or one of many other variants. Literary texts' presentations of the figure of the magician have been influenced by biblical typology and the Galfridian tradition of historiography. Having once been a topic of principal interest to practitioners and ecclesiastical authorities, the occult tradition has taken its place as an important concern in mainstream literary and intellectual history, including medieval studies; a development stimulated by the rise of anthropology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain
EditorsSiân Echard, Robert Rouse
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
ISBN (Electronic)9781118396957
ISBN (Print)978-1-118-39698-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Folklore
  • Magic
  • Medieval literature
  • medieval

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