A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism


Product Details

Bloomsbury Academic
Publish Date
6.14 X 9.21 X 0.6 inches | 0.88 pounds
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About the Author

Helen Farley is Lecturer in Studies in Religion and Esotericism at the University of Queensland. She is editor of the international journal Kthonios: A Journal for the Study of Religion and has written widely on a variety of topics and subjects, including ritual, divination, esotericism and magic.


'Deeply researched and elegantly written, Farley's is by far the most important contemporary contribution to the academic study of the Tarot. No serious work in the history of Western Esotericism will be able to ignore the author's ground-breaking study. Engrossing and fascinating'--Philip C Almond, University of Queensland
'Helen Farley takes the reader deep into the diverse worlds of late Renaissance Italy, Enlightenment France, Victorian England and New Age America - and a host of other milieux - in her impressive study of tarot symbolism. She offers a comprehensive yet detailed study of the changing imagery in the cards as they emerged from their evolving historical contexts. Rarely does a book offer such a wealth of information over such a broad span of time in a way that does justice to its subject: but Farley accomplishes her task with thoroughness and diligence. A Cultural History of Tarot makes a welcome and valuable contribution to the body of recent scholarship on the history of esotericism. More than that, it provides a roadmap to show how scholars of art and culture can engage meaningfully with the fascinating esoteric strands of Europe's past.'--Christina Oakley Harrington, Treadwell's Bookshop, London