a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14532258-witchfather" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px">Witchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner, Volume 2--From Witch Cult to Wicca by Philip Heselton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Philip Heselton is an authjor that cuts to the chase and get's down to the core of everything. He has written some fascinating books on Wicca and more importantly it's sources. Now he has written a thorough biography and has done his research into related sources. His biography relies a lot or has taken a major beginning from Bracelin's earlier work and Gerald Gardner's writings. He has taken the various claims and investigated their veracity. Not an easy thing to do.
Gerald Gardner was born in Bundensellands just North of Liverpool to William and Lois Gardner. The family had patriarch bought several houses in that new area of Bundenselands also known as the "Glen" The patriarchs name was Joseph. The family made their money making blockstops out of wood in the far east. Later on they made their money in the rubber production business. The Gardners were also involved in the Customs department. As a youngster Gardener was taken with asthma and could not thrive in those English winters. His nanny nicknamed "Com" took all around the mediterranean, and Africa. He has no formal education and thus taught himself to read and write. Com was a real party animal who sported lots of lovers and drank massive amounts of alcohol.
When he was around 18 years of age he interned on a plantation. From the tea plantation he himself went into the lumber and rubber business. While in Malaysia and Borneo Gerald befriended the natives and learned many things about their culture, religion and magic. He bacame an expert an the Malaysian weapon called the Keris. He was an amateur archaeologist who made some importatn finds about Malaysia. Later on he himself would work for British customs and was in charge of enforcing British opium laws. Gerald himself did take bribes.
Towards the end of his career he met Donna and got married. He took leave and used stored up vacation time to retire early. He later moved to New Forest and was involved in a nudist club. He would later meet the witches throught the Rosicrucian Theater in the town of Christchurch. Dafo or eEith Grimes initatiated him. THe book talks about his begining in the Witch cult and about the relations that he formed.
One must remember that Gerald was a trickster who was very capable of stretching the truth and telling tall tales. Sometimes what he said could not be verified. He even bought a doctorate from an Americans Unioversity that had a miserable reputation. yet he also shed light on Malaysia, archaeolgy and witchcraft. Great book if you wanna be come more familiar with the "Father of Modern Witchcraft"
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