An account of the most eminent persons in successive ages who have claimed for themselves or to whom has been imputed by others the exercise of magical powers (1834) was the final book written by English journalist, political philosopher and novelist William Godwin. The book concerns paranormal legends from western and Middle Eastern history. In 1835 it was reviewed by Edgar Allan Poe of the Southern Literary Messenger. Lives of Necromancers is perhaps one of the most thorough overviews of the lives and legends of both fictional and historic individuals associated with the magical arts. Godwin thoughtfully summarizes the histories and tales of mankind, from ancient Rome and Egypt to Eastern traditions all the way to the witchcraft trials of Europe and the new world. Godwin presents a fascinating overview of mankind's obsession with the magical arts and the impact that obsession has on the collective psyche.
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