Malcolm Gaskill, author of The Ruin of All Witches, names his top five books to read about wizards and witchcraft.
1. Religion and the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas
One of the first books I read cover to cover at university. The winner of the first Wolfson Prize, it salvaged thousands of details about English popular belief and arranged them into a vivid worldview we had lost. It changed my life.
2. Berlin, the Downfall: 1945 by Antony Beevor
A masterly account of the ‘twilight of the gods’ annihilation that Hitler wished for himself and his people. Beevor soars elegantly between macro and micro, from generals poring over campaign maps to the plight of civilians cowering in the rubble.
3. The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis