Margaret Alice Murray (13 July 1863 – 13 November 1963) was an
Anglo-Indian Egyptologist, archaeologist, anthropologist, historian,
and folklorist. The first woman to be appointed as a lecturer in
archaeology in the United Kingdom, she worked at University College
London (UCL) from 1898 to 1935. She served as President of the
Folklore Society from 1953 to 1955, and published widely over the
course of her career.
Born to a wealthy middle-class English family in Calcutta, British
India, Murray divided her youth between India, Britain, and Germany,
training as both a nurse and a social worker. Moving to London, in
1894 she began studying
Egyptology at UCL, developing a friendship
with department head Flinders Petrie, who encouraged her early
academic publications and appointed her Junior Professor in 1898. In
1902–03 she took part in Petrie's excavations at Abydos, Egypt,
there discovering the
Osireion temple and the following season
Saqqara cemetery, both of which established her
reputation in Egyptology. Supplementing her UCL wage by giving public
classes and lectures at the
British Museum and
Manchester Museum, it
was at the latter in 1908 that she led the unwrapping of Khnum-nakht,
one of the mummies recovered from the Tomb of the Two
Brothers – the first time that a woman had publicly unwrapped a
mummy. Recognising that British
Egyptomania reflected the existence of
a widespread public interest in Ancient Egypt, Murray wrote several
Egyptology targeted at a general audience.
Murray also became closely involved in the first-wave feminist
movement, joining the
Women's Social and Political Union
Women's Social and Political Union and devoting
much time to improving women's status at UCL. Unable to return to
Egypt due to the First World War, she focused her research on the
witch-cult hypothesis, the theory that the witch trials of Early
Modern Christendom were an attempt to extinguish a surviving
pre-Christian, pagan religion devoted to a Horned God. Although later
academically discredited, the theory gained widespread attention and
proved a significant influence on the emerging new religious movement
of Wicca. From 1921 to 1931 Murray undertook excavations of
prehistoric sites on
Menorca and developed her interest in
folkloristics. Awarded an honorary doctorate in 1927, she was
appointed assistant professor in 1928 and retired from UCL in 1935.
That year she visited Palestine to aid Petrie's excavation of Tall
al-Ajjul and in 1937 she led a small excavation at
Petra in Jordan.
Taking on the presidency of the
Folklore Society in later life, she
lectured at such institutions as the
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge and City
Literary Institute, and continued to publish in an independent
capacity until her death.
Murray's work in
Egyptology and archaeology was widely acclaimed and
earned her the moniker of "The Grand Old Woman of Egyptology",
although after her death many of her contributions to the field were
overshadowed by those of Petrie. Conversely, Murray's work in
folkloristics and the history of witchcraft has been academically
discredited and her methods in these areas heavily criticised. The
influence of her witch-cult theory in both religion and literature has
been examined by various scholars, and she herself has been dubbed the
"Grandmother of Wicca".
1 Early life
1.1 Youth: 1863–93
1.2 Early years at University College London: 1894–1905
1.3 Feminism, the First World War, and folklore: 1905–20
2 Later life
2.1 The witch-cult, Malta, and Menorca: 1921–35
2.2 Petra, Cambridge, and London: 1935–53
2.3 Final years: 1953–63
3 Murray's witch-cult hypotheses
3.2 Academic reception
3.2.1 Early support
3.2.2 Early criticism
3.2.3 Academic rejection
4 Personal life
5.1 In academia
5.2 In Wicca
5.3 In literature
8 External links
Margaret Murray was born on 13 July 1863 in Calcutta, Bengal
Presidency, then a major military city in British India. A member
of the wealthy British imperial elite, she lived in the city with her
family: parents James and Margaret Murray, an older sister named Mary,
and her paternal grandmother and great-grandmother. James Murray,
born in India of English descent, was a businessman and manager of the
Serampore paper mills who was thrice elected President of the Calcutta
Chamber of Commerce. His wife, Margaret (née Carr), had moved to
India from Britain in 1857 to work as a missionary, preaching
Christianity and educating Indian women. She continued with this work
after marrying James and giving birth to her two daughters.
Although most of their lives were spent in the European area of
Calcutta, which was walled off from the indigenous sectors of the
city, Murray encountered members of indigenous society through her
family's employment of 10 Indian servants and through childhood
holidays to Mussoorie. The historian Amara Thornton has suggested
that Murray's Indian childhood continued to exert an influence over
her throughout her life, expressing the view that Murray could be seen
as having a hybrid transnational identity that was both British and
Indian. During her childhood, Murray never received a formal
education, and in later life expressed pride in the fact that she had
never had to sit an exam before entering university.
In 1870, Margaret and her sister Mary were sent to Britain, there
moving in with their uncle John, a vicar, and his wife Harriet at
their home in Lambourn, Berkshire. Although John provided them with a
Christian education and a belief in the inferiority of women,
both of which she would reject, he awakened Murray's interest in
archaeology through taking her to see local monuments. In 1873, the
girls' mother arrived in Europe and took them with her to
Germany, where they both became fluent in German. In 1875 they
returned to Calcutta, staying there till 1877. They then moved
with their parents back to England, where they settled in Sydenham,
South London. There, they spent much time visiting The Crystal Palace,
while their father worked at his firm's London office. In 1880,
they returned to Calcutta, where Margaret remained for the next seven
years. She became a nurse at the
Calcutta General Hospital, which was
run by the Sisters of the Anglican Sisterhood of Clower, and there was
involved with the hospital's attempts to deal with a cholera
outbreak. In 1887, she returned to England, moving to Rugby,
Warwickshire, where her uncle John had moved, now widowed. Here she
took up employment as a social worker dealing with local
underprivileged people. When her father retired and moved to
England, she moved into his house in
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire,
living with him until his death in 1891. In 1893 she then
travelled to Madras, Tamil Nadu, where her sister had moved to with
her new husband.
Early years at University College London: 1894–1905
Egyptology at the UCL Wilkins Building (pictured).
Encouraged by her mother and sister, Murray decided to enroll at the
newly opened department of
Egyptology at University College London
(UCL) in Bloomsbury, Central London. Having been founded by an
endowment from Amelia Blanford Edwards, one of the co-founders of the
Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF), the department was run by the pioneering
early archaeologist Sir William Flinders Petrie, and based in the
Edwards Library of UCL's South Cloisters. Murray began her studies
at UCL at age 30 in January 1894, as part of a class composed largely
of other women and older men. There, she took courses in the
Ancient Egyptian and Coptic languages which were taught by Francis
Llewellyn Griffith and
Walter Ewing Crum respectively.
Murray soon got to know Petrie, becoming his copyist and illustrator
and producing the drawings for the published report on his excavations
at Qift, Koptos. In turn, he aided and encouraged her to write her
first research paper, "The Descent of Property in the Early Periods of
Egyptian History", which was published in the Proceedings of the
Society for Biblical
Archaeology in 1895. Becoming Petrie's de
facto though unofficial assistant, Murray began to give some of the
linguistic lessons in Griffith's absence. In 1898 she was
appointed to the position of Junior Lecturer, responsible for teaching
the linguistic courses at the
Egyptology department; this made her the
first female lecturer in archaeology in the United Kingdom. In
this capacity, she spent two days a week at UCL, devoting the other
days to caring for her ailing mother. As time went on, she came to
teach courses on Ancient Egyptian history, religion, and language.
Among Murray's students — to whom she referred as "the Gang" —
were several who went on to produce noted contributions to Egyptology,
including Reginald Engelbach, Georgina Aitken, Guy Brunton, and Myrtle
Broome. She supplemented her UCL salary by teaching evening
Egyptology at the British Museum.
Osireion (pictured), which was first excavated by Murray.
At this point, Murray had no experience in field archaeology, and so
during the 1902–03 field season, she travelled to Egypt to join
Petrie's excavations at Abydos. Petrie and his wife, Hilda Petrie, had
been excavating at the site since 1899, having taken over the
archaeological investigation from French Coptic scholar Émile
Amélineau. Murray at first joined as site nurse, but was subsequently
taught how to excavate by Petrie and given a senior position. This
led to some issues with some of the male excavators, who disliked the
idea of taking orders from a woman. This experience, coupled with
discussions with other female excavators (some of whom were active in
the feminist movement) led Murray to adopt openly feminist
viewpoints. While excavating at Abydos, Murray uncovered the
Osireion, a temple devoted to the god
Osiris which had been
constructed by order of Pharaoh
Seti I during the period of the New
Kingdom. She published her site report as The
Osireion at Abydos
in 1904; in the report, she examined the inscriptions that had been
discovered at the site to discern the purpose and use of the
During the 1903–04 field season, Murray returned to Egypt, and at
Petrie's instruction began her investigations at the
near to Cairo, which dated from the period of the Old Kingdom. Murray
did not have legal permission to excavate the site, and instead spent
her time transcribing the inscriptions from ten of the tombs that had
been excavated during the 1860s by Auguste Mariette. She published
her findings in 1905 as
Saqqara Mastabas I, although would not publish
translations of the inscriptions until 1937 as
II. Both The
Osireion at Abydos and
Saqqara Mastabas I proved to
be very influential in the Egyptological community, with Petrie
recognising Murray's contribution to his own career.
Feminism, the First World War, and folklore: 1905–20
Murray came to do much lecturing and cataloguing at
On returning to London, Murray took an active role in the feminist
movement, volunteering and financially donating to the cause and
taking part in feminist demonstrations, protests, and marches. Joining
the Women's Social and Political Union, she was present at large
marches like the Mud March of 1907 and the Women's Coronation
Procession of June 1911. She concealed the militancy of her actions in
order to retain the image of respectability within academia.
Murray also pushed the professional boundaries for women throughout
her own career, and mentored other women in archaeology and throughout
academia. As women could not use the men's common room, she
successfully campaigned for UCL to open a common room for women, and
later ensured that a larger, better-equipped room was converted for
the purpose; it was later renamed the
Margaret Murray Room. At
UCL, she became a friend of fellow female lecturer Winifred Smith, and
together they campaigned to improve the status and recognition of
women in the university, with Murray becoming particularly annoyed at
female staff who were afraid of upsetting or offending the male
university establishment with their demands. Feeling that students
should get nutritious yet affordable lunches, for many years she sat
on the UCL Refectory Committee.
Various museums around the United Kingdom invited Murray to advise
them on their Egyptological collections, resulting in her cataloguing
the Egyptian artefacts owned by the Dublin National Museum, the
National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh, and the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland, being elected a Fellow of the latter in
thanks. Petrie had established connections with the Egyptological
Manchester Museum in Manchester, and it was there that many of
his finds had been housed. Murray thus often travelled to the museum
to catalogue these artefacts, and during the 1906–07 school year
regularly lectured there. In 1907, Petrie excavated the Tomb of
the Two Brothers, a Middle Kingdom burial of two Egyptian priests,
Nakht-ankh and Khnum-nakht, and it was decided that Murray would carry
out the public unwrapping of the latter's mummified body. Taking place
at the museum in May 1908, it represented the first time that a woman
had led a public mummy unwrapping and was attended by over 500
onlookers, attracting press attention. Murray was particularly
keen to emphasise the importance that the unwrapping would have for
the scholarly understanding of the Middle Kingdom and its burial
practices, and lashed out against members of the public who saw it as
immoral; she declared that "every vestige of ancient remains must be
carefully studied and recorded without sentimentality and without fear
of the outcry of the ignorant". She subsequently published a book
about her analysis of the two bodies, The Tomb of the Two Brothers,
which remained a key publication on Middle Kingdom mummification
practices into the 21st century.
Glastonbury Abbey (pictured) inspired Murray's interest in British
Murray was dedicated to public education, hoping to infuse Egyptomania
with solid scholarship about Ancient Egypt, and to this end authored a
series of books aimed at a general audience. In 1905 she published
Elementary Egyptian Grammar which was followed in 1911 by Elementary
Coptic (Sahidic) Grammar. In 1913, she published Ancient Egyptian
Legends for John Murray's "The Wisdom of the East" series. She was
particularly pleased with the increased public interest in Egyptology
that followed Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh
Tutankhamun in 1922. From at least 1911 until his death in 1940,
Murray was a close friend of the anthropologist Charles Gabriel
Seligman of the London School of Economics, and together they
co-authored a variety of papers on
Egyptology that were aimed at an
anthropological audience. Many of these dealt with subjects that
Egyptological journals would not publish, such as the "Sa" sign for
the uterus, and thus were published in Man, the journal of the Royal
Anthropological Institute. It was at Seligman's recommendation
that she was invited to become a member of the Institute in 1916.
In 1914, Petrie launched the academic journal Ancient Egypt, published
through his own British School of
Archaeology in Egypt (BSAE), which
was based at UCL. Given that he was often away from London excavating
in Egypt, Murray was left to operate as de facto editor much of the
time. She also published many research articles in the journal and
authored many of its book reviews, particularly of the German-language
publications which Petrie could not read.
The outbreak of the
First World War
First World War in 1914, in which the United
Kingdom went to war against Germany and the Ottoman Empire, meant that
Petrie and other staff members were unable to return to Egypt for
excavation. Instead, Petrie and Murray spent much of the time
reorganising the artefact collections that they had attained over the
past decades. To aid Britain's war effort, Murray enrolled as a
volunteer nurse in the Volunteer Air Detachment of the College Women's
Union Society, and for several weeks was posted to
France. After being taken ill herself, she was sent to recuperate
in Glastonbury, Somerset, where she became interested in Glastonbury
Abbey and the folklore surrounding it which connected it to the
legendary figure of
King Arthur and to the idea that the Holy Grail
had been brought there by Joseph of Aramathea. Pursuing this
interest, she published the paper "Egyptian Elements in the Grail
Romance" in the journal Ancient Egypt, although few agreed with her
conclusions and it was criticised for making unsubstantiated leaps
with the evidence by the likes of Jessie Weston.
The witch-cult, Malta, and Menorca: 1921–35
"When I suddenly realised that the so-called Devil was simply a
disguised man I was startled, almost alarmed, by the way the recorded
facts fell into place, and showed that the witches were members of an
old and primitive form of religion, and the records had been made by
members of a new and persecuting form."
Margaret Murray, 1963.
Murray's interest in folklore led her to develop an interest in the
witch trials of Early Modern Europe. In 1917, she published a paper in
Folklore, the journal of the Folklore Society, in which she first
articulated her version of the witch-cult theory, arguing that the
witches persecuted in European history were actually followers of "a
definite religion with beliefs, ritual, and organization as highly
developed as that of any cult in the end". She followed this up
with papers on the subject in the journals Man and the Scottish
Historical Review. She articulated these views more fully in her
1921 book The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, published by Oxford
University Press after receiving a positive peer review by Henry
Balfour, and which received both criticism and support on
publication. Many reviews in academic journals were critical, with
historians claiming that she had distorted and misinterpreted the
contemporary records that she was using, but the book was
Murray in London in 1928
As a result of her work in this area, she was invited to provide the
entry on "witchcraft" for the fourteenth edition of the Encyclopædia
Britannica in 1929. She used the opportunity to propagate her own
witch-cult theory, failing to mention the alternate theories proposed
by other academics. Her entry would be included in the encyclopedia
until 1969, becoming readily accessible to the public, and it was for
this reason that her ideas on the subject had such a significant
impact. It received a particularly enthusiastic reception by
occultists such as Dion Fortune, Lewis Spence, Ralph Shirley, and J.
W. Brodie Innes, perhaps because its claims regarding an ancient
secret society chimed with similar claims common among various occult
groups. Murray joined the
Folklore Society in February 1927, and
was elected to the society's council a month later, although she stood
down in 1929. Murray reiterated her witch-cult theory in her 1933
God of the Witches, which was aimed at a wider, non-academic
audience. In this book, she cut out or toned down what she saw as the
more unpleasant aspects of the witch-cult, such as animal and child
sacrifice, and began describing the religion in more positive terms as
"the Old Religion".
From 1921 to 1927, Murray led archaeological excavations on Malta,
assisted by Edith Guest and Gertrude Caton Thompson. She excavated the
Bronze Age megalithic monuments of Santa Sofia, Santa Maria
tal-Bakkari, Għar Dalam, and Borġ in-Nadur, all of which were
threatened by the construction of a new aerodrome. In this she was
funded by the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund. Her resulting three-volume
excavation report came to be seen as an important publication within
the field of Maltese archaeology. During the excavations, she had
taken an interest in the island's folklore, resulting in the 1932
publication of her book Maltese Folktales, much of which was a
translation of earlier stories collected by Father Magri and her
friend Liza Galea. In 1932 Murray returned to
Malta to aid in the
cataloguing of the Bronze Age pottery collection held in
resulting in another publication, Corpus of the Bronze Age Pottery of
Murray excavated at
Borġ in-Nadur in
On the basis of her work in Malta, Louis C. G. Clarke, the curator of
the Cambridge Museum of Ethnology and Anthropology, invited her to
lead excavations on the island of
Menorca from 1930 to 1931. With the
aid of Guest, she excavated the megalithic sites of Trapucó and Sa
Torrera, resulting in the publication of Cambridge Excavations in
Minorca. Murray also continued to publish works on
a general audience, such as Egyptian Sculpture (1930) and Egyptian
Temples (1931), which received largely positive reviews. In the
summer of 1925 she led a team of volunteers to excavate Homestead Moat
in Whomerle Wood near to Stevenage, Hertfordshire; she did not publish
an excavation report and did not mention the event in her
autobiography, with her motives for carrying out the excavation
In 1924, UCL promoted Murray to the position of assistant
professor, and in 1927 she was awarded an honorary doctorate for
her career in Egyptology. That year, Murray was tasked with
guiding Mary of Teck, the Queen consort, around the Egyptology
department during the latter's visit to UCL. The pressures of
teaching had eased by this point, allowing Murray to spend more time
travelling internationally; in 1920 she returned to Egypt and in 1929
visited South Africa, where she attended the meeting of the British
Association for the Advancement of Science, whose theme was the
prehistory of southern Africa. In the early 1930s she travelled to
the Soviet Union, where she visited museums in Leningrad, Moscow,
Kharkov, and Kiev, and then in late 1935 she undertook a lecture tour
of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. Although having reached
legal retirement age in 1927, and thus unable to be offered another
five-year contract, Murray was reappointed on an annual basis each
year until 1935. At this point, she retired, expressing the
opinion that she was glad to leave UCL, for reasons that she did not
make clear. In 1933, Petrie had retired from UCL and moved to
Mandatory Palestine with his wife; Murray therefore took
over as editor of the
Ancient Egypt journal, renaming it Ancient Egypt
and the East to reflect its increasing research interest in the
ancient societies that surrounded and interacted with Egypt. The
journal folded in 1935, perhaps due to Murray's retirement. Murray
then spent some time in Jerusalem, where she aided the Petries in
their excavation at Tall al-Ajjul, a Bronze Age mound south of
Petra, Cambridge, and London: 1935–53
Murray in 1938
During Murray's 1935 trip to Palestine, she had taken the opportunity
Petra in neighbouring Jordan. Intrigued by the site, in March
and April 1937 she returned in order to carry out a small excavation
in several cave dwellings at the site, subsequently writing both an
excavation report and a guidebook on Petra. Back in England, from
1934 to 1940, Murray aided the cataloguing of Egyptian antiquities at
Girton College, Cambridge, and also gave lectures in
Egyptology at the
university until 1942. During the Second World War, Murray evaded
the Blitz of London by moving to Cambridge, where she volunteered for
a group (probably the
Army Bureau of Current Affairs
Army Bureau of Current Affairs or The British
Way and Purpose) who educated military personnel to prepare them for
post-war life. Based in the city, she embarked on research into
the town's Early Modern history, examining documents stored in local
parish churches, Downing College, and Ely Cathedral; she never
published her findings. In 1945, she briefly became involved in
Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?
Who put Bella in the Wych Elm? murder case.
After the war ended she returned to London, settling into a bedsit
room in Endsleigh Street, which was close to University College London
(UCL) and the Institute of
Archaeology (then an independent
institution, now part of UCL); she continued her involvement with the
former and made use of the latter's library. On most days she
British Museum in order to consult their library, and
twice a week she taught adult education classes on Ancient Egyptian
history and religion at the City Literary Institute; upon her
retirement from this position she nominated her former pupil, Veronica
Seton-Williams, to replace her.
Murray's interest in popularising
Egyptology among the wider public
continued; in 1949 she published Ancient Egyptian Religious Poetry,
her second work for John Murray's "The Wisdom of the East" series.
That same year she also published The Splendour That Was Egypt, in
which she collated many of her UCL lectures. The book adopted a
diffusionist perspective that argued that Egypt influenced Greco-Roman
society and thus modern Western society. This was seen as a compromise
between Petrie's belief that other societies influenced the emergence
of Egyptian civilisation and Grafton Elliot Smith's highly unorthodox
and heavily criticised hyperdiffusionist view that Egypt was the
source of all global civilisation. The book received a mixed reception
from the archaeological community.
Final years: 1953–63
"[I] went to her hundredth birthday party where she sat
enthroned — no other word for it — surrounded by family
and friends. A distant cousin — what we would have called an
elderly lady of eighty — was bringing greetings from even more
distant relatives in Australia and suddenly forgot, as happens to many
people half her age and a third of the age of Ma Murray, one name.
'How stupid of me, Cousin Margaret,' she said, 'how stupid the name
has quite gone out of my head.' Ma Murray focused her eyes on this old
lady twenty years her junior — cold eyes in which feeling
seemed extinguished in the neutrality of eternity — and said
gently and kindly, 'Not stupidity, my dear. Not stupidity: just mental
Glyn Daniel, 1964.
In 1953, Murray was appointed to the presidency of the Folklore
Society following the resignation of former president Allan Gomme. The
Society had initially approached John Mavrogordato for the post, but
he had declined, with Murray accepting the nomination several months
later. Murray remained President for two terms, until 1955. In her
1954 presidential address, "England as a Field for Folklore Research",
she lamented what she saw as the English people's disinterest in their
own folklore in favour of that from other nations. For the autumn
1961 issue of Folklore, the society published a festschrift to Murray
to commemorate her 98th birthday. The issue contained contributions
from various scholars paying tribute to her – with papers dealing
with archaeology, fairies, Near Eastern religious symbols, Greek folk
songs – but notably not about witchcraft, potentially because no
other folklorists were willing to defend her witch-cult theory.
In May 1957, Murray had championed the archaeologist T. C.
Lethbridge's controversial claims that he had discovered three
Christian chalk hill figures on
Wandlebury Hill in the Gog Magog
Hills, Cambridgeshire. Privately she expressed concern about the
reality of the figures. Lethbridge subsequently authored a book
championing her witch-cult theory in which he sought the cult's
origins in pre-
Christian culture. In 1960, she donated her
collection of papers – including correspondences with a wide
range of individuals across the country – to the Folklore
Society Archive, where it is now known as "the Murray Collection".
Crippled with arthritis, Murray had moved into a home in North
Finchley, north London, where she was cared for by a retired couple
who were trained nurses; from here she occasionally took taxis into
central London to visit the UCL library. Amid failing health, in
1962 Murray moved into the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn,
Hertfordshire, where she could receive 24-hour care; she lived here
for the final 18 months of her life. To mark her hundredth
birthday, on 13 July 1963 a group of her friends, former students, and
doctors gathered for a party at nearby Ayot St. Lawrence. Two days
later, her doctor drove her to UCL for a second birthday party, again
attended by many of her friends, colleagues, and former students; it
was the last time that she visited the university. In Man, the
journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, it was noted that
Murray was "the only Fellow of the Institute to [reach their
centenary] within living memory, if not in its whole history".
That year she published two books; one was The Genesis of Religion, in
which she argued that humanity's first deities had been goddesses
rather than male gods. The second was her autobiography, My First
Hundred Years, which received predominantly positive reviews. She
died on 13 November 1963, and her body was cremated.
Murray's witch-cult hypotheses
Further information: Witch-cult hypothesis
The later folklorists Caroline Oates and Juliette Wood have suggested
that Murray was best known for her witch-cult theory, with
biographer Margaret S. Drower expressing the view that it was her work
on this subject which "perhaps more than any other, made her known to
the general public". It has been claimed that Murray's was the
"first feminist study of the witch trials", as well as being the
first to have actually "empowered the witches" by giving the (largely
female) accused both free will and a voice distinct from that of their
interrogators. The theory was faulty, in part because all of her
academic training was in Egyptology, with no background knowledge in
European history, but also because she exhibited a "tendency to
generalize wildly on the basis of very slender evidence". Oates
and Wood, however, noted that Murray's interpretations of the evidence
fitted within wider perspectives on the past that existed at the time,
stating that "Murray was far from isolated in her method of reading
ancient ritual origins into later myths". In particular, her
approach was influenced by the work of the anthropologist James
Frazer, who had argued for the existence of a pervasive
dying-and-resurrecting god myth, and she was also influenced by
the interpretative approaches of E. O. James, Karl Pearson, Herbert
Fleure, and Harold Peake.
"The extreme negative and positive reactions to The Witch-Cult in
Western Europe, as well as its legacy in religion and literature,
register as responses to its fantastical form and content and
especially to its implication of an alternate, woman-centered history
of Western religion. At least one contemporary review turns Murray's
suggestion of continuity between the premodern witches and
contemporary women back on her in an ad hominem attack."
Mimi Winick, 2015.
In The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, Murray stated that she had
restricted her research to Great Britain, although made some recourse
to sources from France, Flanders, and New England. She drew a
division between what she termed "Operative Witchcraft", which
referred to the performance of charms and spells with any purpose, and
"Ritual Witchcraft", by which she meant "the ancient religion of
Western Europe", a fertility-based faith that she also termed "the
Dianic cult". She claimed that the cult had "very probably" once
been devoted to the worship of both a male deity and a "Mother
Goddess" but that "at the time when the cult is recorded the worship
of the male deity appears to have superseded that of the female".
In her argument, Murray claimed that the figure referred to as the
Devil in the trial accounts was the witches' god, "manifest and
incarnate", to whom the witches offered their prayers. She claimed
that at the witches' meetings, the god would be personified, usually
by a man or at times by a woman or an animal; when a human personified
this entity, Murray claimed that they were usually dressed plainly,
though they appeared in full costume for the witches' Sabbaths.
Members joined the cult either as children or adults through what
Murray called "admission ceremonies"; Murray asserted that applicants
had to agree to join of their own free will, and agree to devote
themselves to the service of their deity. She also claimed that in
some cases, these individuals had to sign a covenant or were baptised
into the faith. At the same time, she claimed that the religion
was largely passed down hereditary lines. Murray described the
religion as being divided into covens containing thirteen
members, led by a coven officer who was often termed the "Devil"
in the trial accounts, but who was accountable to a "Grand
Master". According to Murray, the records of the coven were kept
in a secret book, with the coven also disciplining its members,
to the extent of executing those deemed traitors.
Describing this witch-cult as "a joyous religion", she claimed
that the two primary festivals that it celebrated were on May Eve and
November Eve, although that other dates of religious observation were
1 February and 1 August, the winter and summer solstices, and
Easter. She asserted that the "General Meeting of all members of
the religion" were known as Sabbaths, while the more private ritual
meetings were known as Esbats. The Esbats, Murray claimed, were
nocturnal rites that began at midnight, and were "primarily for
business, whereas the Sabbath was purely religious". At the former,
magical rites were performed both for malevolent and benevolent
ends. She also asserted that the Sabbath ceremonies involved the
witches paying homage to the deity, renewing their "vows of fidelity
and obedience" to him, and providing him with accounts of all the
magical actions that they had conducted since the previous Sabbath.
Once this business had been concluded, admissions to the cult or
marriages were conducted, ceremonies and fertility rites took place,
and then the Sabbath ended with feasting and dancing.
The Devil on horseback.
Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).
Deeming Ritual Witchcraft to be "a fertility cult", she asserted that
many of its rites were designed to ensure fertility and
rain-making. She claimed that there were four types of sacrifice
performed by the witches: blood-sacrifice, in which the neophyte
writes their name in blood; the sacrifice of animals; the sacrifice of
Christian child to procure magical powers; and the sacrifice of
the witches' god by fire to ensure fertility. She interpreted
accounts of witches shapeshifting into various animals as being
representative of a rite in which the witches dressed as specific
animals which they took to be sacred. She asserted that accounts
of familiars were based on the witches' use of animals, which she
divided into "divining familiars" used in divination and "domestic
familiars" used in other magic rites.
Murray asserted that a pre-
Christian fertility-based religion had
survived the Christianization process in Britain, although that it
came to be "practised only in certain places and among certain classes
of the community". She believed that folkloric stories of fairies
in Britain were based on a surviving race of dwarfs, who continued to
live on the island up until the Early Modern period. She asserted that
this race followed the same pagan religion as the witches, thus
explaining the folkloric connection between the two. In the
appendices to the book, she also alleged that
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc and Gilles
de Rais were members of the witch-cult and were executed for it,
a claim which has been refuted by historians, especially in the case
of Joan of Arc.
The later historian
Ronald Hutton commented that The Witch-Cult in
Western Europe "rested upon a small amount of archival research, with
extensive use of printed trial records in 19th-century editions, plus
early modern pamphlets and works of demonology". He also noted
that the book's tone was generally "dry and clinical, and every
assertion was meticulously footnoted to a source, with lavish
quotation". It was not a bestseller; in its first thirty years,
only 2,020 copies were sold. However, it led many people to treat
Murray as an authority on the subject; in 1929, she was invited to
provide the entry on "Witchcraft" for the Encyclopædia Britannica,
and used it to present her interpretation of the subject as if it were
universally accepted in scholarship. It remained in the encyclopedia
until being replaced in 1969.
The Witch-Cult in Western Europe with The
God of the
Witches, published by the popular press
Sampson Low in 1931; although
similar in content, unlike her previous volume it was aimed at a mass
market audience. The tone of the book also differed strongly from
its predecessor, containing "emotionally inflated [language] and
coloured with religious phraseology" and repeatedly referring to the
witch-cult as "the Old Religion". In this book she also "cut out
or toned down" many of the claims made in her previous volume which
would have painted the cult in a bad light, such as those which
discussed sex and the sacrifice of animals and children.
In this book she began to refer to the witches' deity as the Horned
God, and asserted that it was an entity who had been worshipped in
Europe since the Palaeolithic. She further asserted that in the
Bronze Age, the worship of the deity could be found throughout Europe,
Asia, and parts of Africa, claiming that the depiction of various
horned figures from these societies proved that. Among the evidence
cited were the horned figures found at Mohenjo-Daro, which are often
interpreted as depictions of Pashupati, as well as the deities Osiris
and Amon in Egypt and the
Minotaur of Minoan Crete. Within
continental Europe, she claimed that the
Horned God was represented by
Pan in Greece,
Cernunnos in Gaul, and in various Scandinavian rock
carvings. Claiming that this divinity had been declared the Devil
Christian authorities, she nevertheless asserted that his
worship was testified in officially
Christian societies right through
to the Modern period, citing folkloric practices such as the Dorset
Ooser and the
Puck Fair as evidence of his veneration.
In 1954, she published The Divine King in England, in which she
greatly extended on the theory, taking influence from Frazer's The
Golden Bough, an anthropological book that made the claim that
societies all over the world sacrificed their kings to the deities of
nature. In her book, she claimed that this practice had continued into
medieval England, and that, for instance, the death of William II was
really a ritual sacrifice. No academic took the book seriously,
and it was ignored by many of her supporters.
Upon initial publication, Murray's thesis gained a favourable
reception from many readers, including some significant scholars,
albeit none who were experts in the witch trials. Historians of
Early Modern Britain like
George Norman Clark and Christopher Hill
incorporated her theories into their work, although the latter
subsequently distanced himself from the theory. For the 1961
reprint of The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, the Medieval historian
Steven Runciman provided a foreword in which he accepted that some of
Murray's "minor details may be open to criticism", but in which
he was otherwise supportive of her thesis. Her theories were
recapitulated by Arno Runeberg in his 1947 book Witches, Demons and
Fertility Magic as well as Pennethorne Hughes in his 1952 book
Witches. As a result, the Canadian historian Elliot Rose, writing
in 1962, claimed that the Murrayite interpretations of the witch
trials "seem to hold, at the time of writing, an almost undisputed
sway at the higher intellectual levels", being widely accepted among
Rose suggested that the reason that Murray's theory gained such
support was partly because of her "imposing credentials" as a member
of staff at UCL, a position that lent her theory greater legitimacy in
the eyes of many readers. He further suggested that the Murrayite
view was attractive to many as it confirmed "the general picture of
Christian Europe a reader of Frazer or [Robert] Graves would be
familiar with". Similarly, Hutton suggested that the cause of the
Murrayite theory's popularity was because it "appealed to so many of
the emotional impulses of the age", including "the notion of the
English countryside as a timeless place full of ancient secrets", the
literary popularity of Pan, the widespread belief that the majority of
British had remained pagan long after the process of Christianisation,
and the idea that folk customs represented pagan survivals. At the
same time, Hutton suggested, it seemed more plausible to many than the
previously dominant rationalist idea that the witch trials were the
result of mass delusion. Related to this, the folklorist
Jacqueline Simpson suggested that part of the Murrayite theory's
appeal was that it appeared to give a "sensible, demystifying,
liberating approach to a longstanding but sterile argument" between
the rationalists who denied that there had been any witches and those,
like Montague Summers, who insisted that there had been a real Satanic
conspiracy against Christendom in the Early Modern period replete with
witches with supernatural powers. "How refreshing", noted the
historian Hilda Ellis Davidson, "and exciting her first book was at
that period. A new approach, and such a surprising one."
"Surely, discussion of what confessedly is so unripe is premature.
When Miss Murray has broadened her study to all the lands where she
can find the "cult"; when she has dealt with documents worthier the
name of records than the chapbooks and the formless reports that have
to serve us for the British trials; when she has traced back
witch-sabbath and questionary through the centuries of witch and
heretic hunting that precede the British; when she has trusted herself
to study the work of other students and fairly to weigh their
conclusions against her own in the light of the further evidence they
may adduce: then perhaps she may have modified her views. Whether she
changes or confirms them, she will then have earned the right to a
George L. Burr, 1922.
Murray's theories never received support from experts in the Early
Modern witch trials, and from her early publications onward many
of her ideas were challenged by those who highlighted her "factual
errors and methodological failings". Indeed, the majority of
scholarly reviews of her work produced during the 1920s and 1930s were
largely critical. George L. Burr reviewed both of her initial
books on the witch-cult for the American Historical Review. He
stated that she was not acquainted with the "careful general histories
by modern scholars" and criticised her for assuming that the trial
accounts accurately reflected the accused witches' genuine experiences
of witchcraft, regardless of whether those confessions had been
obtained through torture and coercion. He also charged her with
selectively using the evidence to serve her interpretation, for
instance by omitting any supernatural or miraculous events that appear
in the trial accounts. W. R. Halliday was highly critical in his
review for Folklore, as was E. M. Loeb in his review for American
Soon after, one of the foremost specialists of the trial records,
L'Estrange Ewen, brought out a series of books which rejected Murray's
interpretation. Rose suggested that Murray's books on the
witch-cult "contain an incredible number of minor errors of fact or of
calculation and several inconsistencies of reasoning". He
accepted that her case "could, perhaps, still be proved by somebody
else, though I very much doubt it". Highlighting that there is a
gap of about a thousand years between the Christianisation of Britain
and the start of the witch trials there, he argues that there is no
evidence for the existence of the witch-cult anywhere in the
intervening period. He further criticises Murray for treating
Christian Britain as a socially and culturally monolithic entity,
whereas in reality, it contained a diverse array of societies and
religious beliefs. He also challenges Murray's claim that the majority
of Britons in the Middle Ages remained pagan as "a view grounded on
Murray did not respond directly to the criticisms of her work, but
reacted to her critics in a hostile manner; in later life she asserted
that she eventually ceased reading reviews of her work, and believed
that her critics were simply acting out of their own Christian
prejudices to non-
Christian religion. Simpson noted that despite
these critical reviews, within the field of British folkloristics
Murray's theories were permitted "to pass unapproved but unchallenged,
either out of politeness or because nobody was really interested
enough to research the topic". As evidence, she noted that no
substantial research articles on the subject of witchcraft were
published in Folklore between Murray's in 1917 and Rossell Hope
Robbins' in 1963. She also highlighted that when regional studies
of British folklore were published in this period by folklorists like
Theo Brown, Ruth Tongue, or Enid Porter, none adopted the Murrayite
framework for interpreting witchcraft beliefs, thus evidencing her
claim that Murray's theories were widely ignored by scholars of
Murray's work was increasingly criticised following her death in 1963,
with the definitive academic rejection of the Murrayite witch-cult
theory occurring during the 1970s. During these decades, a
variety of scholars across Europe and North America – such as
Alan Macfarlane, Erik Midelfort, William Monter, Robert Muchembled,
Gerhard Schormann, Bente Alver and Bengt Ankarloo – published
in-depth studies of the archival records from the witch trials,
leaving no doubt that those tried for witchcraft were not
practitioners of a surviving pre-
Christian religion. In 1971, the
English historian Keith Thomas stated that on the basis of this
research, there was "very little evidence to suggest that the accused
witches were either devil-worshippers or members of a pagan fertility
cult". He stated that Murray's conclusions were "almost totally
groundless" because she ignored the systematic study of the trial
accounts provided by Ewen and instead used sources very selectively to
argue her point.
In 1975, the historian
Norman Cohn commented that Murray's "knowledge
of European history, even of English history, was superficial and her
grasp of historical method was non-existent", adding that her
ideas were "firmly set in an exaggerated and distorted version of the
Frazerian mould". That same year, the historian of religion
Mircea Eliade described Murray's work as "hopelessly inadequate",
containing "numberless and appalling errors". In 1996, the
Diane Purkiss stated that although Murray's thesis
was "intrinsically improbable" and commanded "little or no allegiance
within the modern academy", she felt that male scholars like
Thomas, Cohn, and Macfarlane had unfairly adopted an androcentric
approach by which they contrasted their own, male and methodologically
sound interpretation against Murray's "feminised belief" about the
"That this 'old religion' persisted secretly, without leaving any
evidence, is, of course, possible, just as it is possible that below
the surface of the moon lie extensive deposits of Stilton cheese.
Anything is possible. But it is nonsense to assert the existence of
something for which no evidence exists. The Murrayites ask us to
swallow a most peculiar sandwich: a large piece of the wrong evidence
between two thick slices of no evidence at all."
Jeffrey B. Russell and Brooks Alexander, 2007.
Hutton stated that Murray had treated her source material with
"reckless abandon", in that she had taken "vivid details of
alleged witch practices" from "sources scattered across a great extent
of space and time" and then declared them to be normative of the cult
as a whole. Simpson outlined how Murray had selected her use of
evidence very specifically, particularly by ignoring and/or
rationalising any accounts of supernatural or miraculous events in the
trial records, thereby distorting the events that she was describing.
Thus, Simpson pointed out, Murray rationalised claims that the
cloven-hoofed Devil appeared at the witches' Sabbath by stating that
he was a man with a special kind of shoe, and similarly asserted that
witches' claims to have flown through the air on broomsticks were
actually based on their practice of either hopping along on
broomsticks or smearing hallucinogenic salves onto themselves.
Concurring with this assessment, the historian Jeffrey Burton Russell,
writing with the independent author Brooks Alexander, stated that
"Murray's use of sources, in general, is appalling". The pair
went on to claim that "today, scholars are agreed that Murray was more
than just wrong – she was completely and embarrassingly wrong
on nearly all of her basic premises".
The Italian historian
Carlo Ginzburg has been cited as being willing
to give "some slight support" to Murray's theory. Ginzburg stated
that although her thesis had been "formulated in a wholly uncritical
way" and contained "serious defects", it did contain "a kernel of
truth". He stated his opinion that she was right in claiming that
European witchcraft had "roots in an ancient fertility cult",
something that he argued was vindicated by his work researching the
benandanti, an agrarian visionary tradition recorded in the Friuli
district of Northeastern Italy during the 16th and 17th
centuries. Several historians and folklorists have pointed out
that Ginzburg's arguments are very different to Murray's: whereas
Murray argued for the existence of a pre-
Christian witches' cult whose
members physically met during the witches' Sabbaths, Ginzburg argued
that some of the European visionary traditions that were conflated
with witchcraft in the Early Modern period had their origins in
Christian fertility religions. Moreover, other historians
have expressed criticism of Ginzburg's interpretation of the
benandanti; Cohn stated that there was "nothing whatsoever" in the
source material to justify the idea that the benandanti were the
"survival of an age-old fertility cult". Echoing these views,
Hutton commented that Ginzburg's claim that the benandanti's visionary
traditions were a survival from pre-
Christian practices was an idea
resting on "imperfect material and conceptual foundations". He
added that Ginzburg's "assumption" that "what was being dreamed about
in the sixteenth century had in fact been acted out in religious
ceremonies" dating to "pagan times", was entirely "an inference of his
own" and not one supported by the documentary evidence.
Bust of Murray held in the library of the UCL Institute of
Archaeology. The bronze cast was produced by Stephen Rickard after
having been commissioned by Murray's student Violet MacDermot.
On researching the history of UCL's
Egyptology department, the
historian Rosalind M. Janssen stated that Murray was "remembered with
gratitude and immense affection by all her former students. A wise and
witty teacher, two generations of Egyptologists have forever been in
her debt." Alongside teaching them, Murray was known to socialise
with her UCL students outside of class hours. The archaeologist
Ralph Merrifield, who knew Murray through the Folklore Society,
described her as a "diminutive and kindly scholar, who radiated
intelligence and strength of character into extreme old age".
Davidson, who also knew Murray through the Society, noted that at
their meetings "she would sit near the front, a bent and seemingly
guileless old lady dozing peacefully, and then in the middle of a
discussion would suddenly intervene with a relevant and penetrating
comment which showed that she had missed not one word of the
argument". The later folklorist Juliette Wood noted that many
members of the
Folklore Society "remember her fondly", adding that
Murray had been "especially keen to encourage younger researchers,
even those who disagreed with her ideas".
One of Murray's friends in the Society, E. O. James, described her as
a "mine of information and a perpetual inspiration ever ready to
impart her vast and varied stores of specialised knowledge without
reserve, or, be it said, much if any regard for the generally accepted
opinions and conclusions of the experts!" Davidson described her
as being "not at all assertive ... [she] never thrust her ideas
on anyone. [In relation to her witch-cult theory,] she behaved in fact
rather like someone who was a fully convinced member of some unusual
religious sect, or perhaps, of the Freemasons, but never on any
account got into arguments about it in public." The archaeologist
Glyn Daniel observed that Murray remained mentally alert into her old
age, commenting that "her vigour and forthrightness and ruthless
energy never deserted her".
Murray never married, instead devoting her life to her work, and for
this reason, Hutton drew comparisons between her and two other
prominent female British scholars of the period, Jane Harrison and
Jessie Weston. Murray's biographer Kathleen L. Sheppard stated
that she was deeply committed to public outreach, particularly when it
came to Egyptology, and that as such she "wanted to change the means
by which the public obtained knowledge about Egypt's history: she
wished to throw open the doors to the scientific laboratory and invite
the public in". She considered travel to be one of her favourite
activities, although due to restraints on her time and finances she
was unable to do this regularly; her salary remained small and the
revenue from her books was meagre.
Raised a devout
Christian by her mother, Murray had initially become a
Sunday School teacher to preach the faith, but after entering the
academic profession she rejected religion, gaining a reputation among
other members of the
Folklore Society as a noted sceptic and a
rationalist. She was openly critical of organised religion,
although continued to maintain a personal belief in a
God of some
sort, relating in her autobiography that she believed in "an unseen
over-ruling Power", "which science calls Nature and religion calls
God". She was also a believer and a practitioner of magic,
performing curses against those she felt deserved it; in one case she
cursed a fellow academic, Jaroslav Černý, when she felt that his
promotion to the position of Professor of
Egyptology over her friend
Walter Bryan Emery
Walter Bryan Emery was unworthy. Her curse entailed mixing up
ingredients in a frying pan, and was undertaken in the presence of two
colleagues. In another instance, she was claimed to have created
a wax image of
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Kaiser Wilhelm II and then melted it during the First
Hutton noted that Murray was one of the earliest women to "make a
serious impact upon the world of professional scholarship", and
the archaeologist Niall Finneran described her as "one of the greatest
characters of post-war British archaeology". Upon her death,
Daniel referred to her as "the Grand Old Woman of Egyptology",
with Hutton noting that
Egyptology represented "the core of her
academic career". In 2014, Thornton referred to her as "one of
Britain's most famous Egyptologists". However, according to the
archaeologist Ruth Whitehouse, Murray's contributions to archaeology
Egyptology were often overlooked as her work was overshadowed by
that of Petrie, to the extent that she was often thought of primarily
as one of Petrie's assistants rather than as a scholar in her own
right. By her retirement she had come to be highly regarded
within the discipline, although, according to Whitehouse, Murray's
reputation declined following her death, something that Whitehouse
attributed to the rejection of her witch-cult theory and the general
erasure of women archaeologists from the discipline's male-dominated
"No British folklorist can remember Dr
Margaret Murray without
embarrassment and a sense of paradox. She is one of the few
folklorists whose name became widely known to the public, but among
scholars, her reputation is deservedly low; her theory that witches
were members of a huge secret society preserving a prehistoric
fertility cult through the centuries is now seen to be based on deeply
flawed methods and illogical arguments. The fact that, in her old age
and after three increasingly eccentric books, she was made President
of the Folklore Society, must certainly have harmed the reputation of
the Society and possibly the status of folkloristics in this country;
it helps to explain the mistrust some historians still feel towards
Jacqueline Simpson, 1994.
In his obituary for Murray in Folklore, James noted that her death was
"an event of unusual interest and importance in the annals of the
Folk-Lore Society in particular as well as in the wider sphere in
which her influence was felt in so many directions and
disciplines". However, later academic folklorists, such as
Simpson and Wood, have cited Murray and her witch-cult theory as an
embarrassment to their field, and to the Folklore Society
specifically. Simpson suggested that Murray's position as
President of the Society was a causal factor in the mistrustful
attitude that many historians held toward folkloristics as an academic
discipline, as they erroneously came to believe that all folklorists
endorsed Murray's ideas. Similarly, Catherine Noble stated that
"Murray caused considerable damage to the study of witchcraft".
In 1935, UCL introduced the
Margaret Murray Prize, awarded to the
student who is deemed to have produced the best dissertation in
Egyptology; it continued to be presented annually into the 21st
century. In 1969, UCL named one of their common rooms in her
honour, but it was converted into an office in 1989. In June
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visited the room and there was
gifted a copy of Murray's My First Hundred Years. UCL also hold
two busts of Murray, one kept in the
Petrie Museum and the other in
the library of the UCL Institute of Archaeology. This sculpture
was commissioned by one of her students, Violet MacDermot, and
produced by the artist Stephen Rickard. UCL also possess a
watercolour painting of Murray by Winifred Brunton; formerly exhibited
in the Petrie Gallery, it was later placed into the Art Collection
stores. In 2013, on the 150th anniversary of Murray's birth and
the 50th of her death, the UCL Institute of Archaeology's Ruth
Whitehouse described Murray as "a remarkable woman" whose life was
"well worth celebrating, both in the archaeological world at large and
especially in UCL".
The historian of archaeology Rosalind M. Janssen titled her study of
Egyptology at UCL The First Hundred Years "as a tribute" to
Murray. Murray's friend
Margaret Stefana Drower authored a short
biography of her, which was included as a chapter in the 2004 edited
volume on Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists. In
Lexington Books published The Life of Margaret Alice Murray: A
Woman's Work in Archaeology, a biography of Murray authored by
Kathleen L. Sheppard, then an assistant professor at Missouri
University of Science and Technology; the book was based upon
Sheppard's doctoral dissertation produced at the University of
Oklahoma. Although characterising it as being "written in a clear
and engaging manner", one reviewer noted that Sheppard's book focuses
on Murray the "scientist" and as such neglects to discuss Murray's
involvement in magical practices and her relationship with Wicca.
A sculpture of the
Horned God of
Wicca found in the Museum of
Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall.
Murray's witch-cult theories provided the blueprint for the
contemporary Pagan religion of Wicca, with Murray being referred
to as the "Grandmother of Wicca". The
Pagan studies scholar Ethan
Doyle White stated that it was the theory which "formed the historical
narrative around which
Wicca built itself", for on its emergence
in England during the 1940s and 1950s,
Wicca claimed to be the
survival of this witch-cult. Wicca's theological structure,
revolving around a
Horned God and Mother Goddess, was adopted from
Murray's ideas about the ancient witch-cult, and Wiccan groups
were named covens and their meetings termed esbats, both words that
Murray had popularised. As with Murray's witch-cult, Wicca's
practitioners entered via an initiation ceremony; Murray's claims
that witches wrote down their spells in a book may have been an
influence on Wicca's Book of Shadows. Wicca's early system of
seasonal festivities were also based on Murray's framework.
Noting that there is no evidence of
Wicca existing before the
publication of Murray's books, Merrifield commented that for those in
20th century Britain who wished to form their own witches' covens,
"Murray may have seemed the ideal fairy godmother, and her theory
became the pumpkin coach that could transport them into the realm of
fantasy for which they longed". The historian Philip Heselton
suggested that the
New Forest coven
New Forest coven – the oldest alleged Wiccan
group – was founded circa 1935 by esotericists aware of Murray's
theory and who may have believed themselves to be reincarnated
witch-cult members. It was Gerald Gardner, who claimed to be an
initiate of the New Forest coven, who established the tradition of
Wicca and popularised the religion; according to Simpson,
Gardner was the only member of the
Folklore Society to
"wholeheartedly" accept Murray's witch-cult hypothesis. The duo
knew each other, with Murray writing the foreword to Gardner's 1954
book Witchcraft Today, although in that foreword she did not
explicitly specify whether she believed Gardner's claim that he had
discovered a survival of her witch-cult. In 2005, Noble suggested
that "Murray's name might be all but forgotten today if it were not
for Gerald Gardner".
"As the religion [of Wicca] emerged, many practitioners saw those who
suffered in the [witch trials of the Early Modern] as their forebears,
thus adopting the Murrayite witch-cult hypothesis which provided Wicca
with a history stretching back far into the reaches of the ancient
past. As historians challenged and demolished this theory in the 1960s
and 1970s, many Wiccans were shocked. Some accepted that the theory
was not actually legitimate, instead portraying the Murrayite story as
a mythical history for the Craft and seeking to emphasise the
religion's other historical antecessors. Other practitioners however
vehemently defended Murray's hypothesis against academic critique,
viewing it as a significant article of faith."
Ethan Doyle White, 2016.
Murray's witch-cult theories were likely also a core influence on the
non-Gardnerian Wiccan traditions that were established in Britain and
Australia between 1930 and 1970 by the likes of Bob Clay-Egerton,
Robert Cochrane, Charles Cardell, and Rosaleen Norton. The
Doreen Valiente eagerly searched for what she
believed were other surviving remnants of the Murrayite witch-cult
around Britain. Valiente remained committed to a belief in
Murray's witch-cult after its academic rejection, and she
described Murray as "a remarkable woman". In
San Francisco during
the late 1960s, Murray's writings were among the sources used by Aidan
A. Kelly in the creation of his Wiccan tradition, the New Reformed
Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn. In
Los Angeles during the
early 1970s, they were used by
Zsuzsanna Budapest when she was
establishing her feminist-oriented tradition of Dianic Wicca. The
Murrayite witch-cult theory also provided the basis for the ideas
espoused in Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture, a 1978 book written
by the American gay liberation activist Arthur Evans.
Members of the Wiccan community gradually became aware of academia's
rejection of the witch-cult theory. Accordingly, belief in its literal
truth declined during the 1980s and 1990s, with many Wiccans instead
coming to view it as a myth that conveyed metaphorical or symbolic
truths. Others insisted that the historical origins of the
religion did not matter and that instead
Wicca was legitimated by the
spiritual experiences it gave to its participants. In response,
Hutton authored The Triumph of the Moon, a historical study exploring
Wicca's early development; on publication in 1999 the book exerted a
strong impact on the British Pagan community, further eroding belief
in the Murrayite theory among Wiccans. Conversely, other
practitioners clung on to the theory, treating it as an important
article of faith and rejecting post-Murrayite scholarship on European
witchcraft. Several prominent practitioners continued to insist
Wicca was a religion with origins stretching back to the
Palaeolithic, but others rejected the validity of historical
scholarship and emphasised intuition and emotion as the arbiter of
truth. A few "counter-revisionist" Wiccans – among them Donald
H. Frew, Jani Farrell-Roberts, and Ben Whitmore – published
critiques in which they attacked post-Murrayite scholarship on matters
of detail, but none defended Murray's original hypothesis
Simpson noted that the publication of the Murray thesis in the
Encyclopædia Britannica made it accessible to "journalists,
film-makers popular novelists and thriller writers", who adopted it
"enthusiastically". It influenced the work of
Aldous Huxley and
Robert Graves. It was also an influence on the American horror
author H. P. Lovecraft, who cited
The Witch-Cult in Western Europe in
his writings about the fictional cult of Cthulhu.
Sylvia Townsend Warner
Sylvia Townsend Warner cited Murray's work on the
witch-cult as an influence on her 1926 novel Lolly Willowes, and sent
a copy of her book to Murray in appreciation, with the two meeting for
lunch shortly after. There was nevertheless some difference in
their depictions of the witch-cult; whereas Murray had depicted an
Christian cult, Warner depicted a vague family tradition
that was explicitly Satanic. In 1927, Warner lectured on the
subject of witchcraft, exhibiting a strong influence from Murray's
work. Analysing the relationship between Murray and Warner, the
English literature scholar Mimi Winick characterised both as being
"engaged in imagining new possibilities for women in modernity".
A bibliography of Murray's published work was published in Folklore by
Wilfrid Bonser in 1961, and her friend Drower produced a
posthumous limited bibliography in 2004, and another limited
bibliography appeared in Kathleen L. Sheppard's 2013 biography of
Year of publication
Guide to the Collection of Egyptian Antiquities
Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art (Edinburgh)
Osireion at Abydos !The
Osireion at Abydos
Egyptian Research Account (London)
Saqqara Mastabas Part I and Gurob
Egyptian Research Account (London)
Elementary Egyptian Grammar
University College Press (London)
Index of Names and Titles of the Old Kingdom
British School of
Archaeology in Egypt (London)
Tomb of the Two Brothers !The Tomb of the Two Brothers
Sheratt & Hughes (Manchester)
Elementary Coptic (Sahidic) Grammar
University College Press (London)
Ancient Egyptian Legends
John Murray (London); The Wisdom of the East Series
Witch-Cult in Western Europe !The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A
Study in Anthropology
Oxford University Press (Oxford)
Excavations in Malta, Part I
Bernard Quaritch (London)
Excavations in Malta, Part II
Bernard Quaritch (London)
Excavations in Malta, Part III
Bernard Quaritch (London)
Sampson Low, Marston & Co. (London)
God of the Witches !The
God of the Witches
Faber & Faber (London)
Galea, L.L. Galea
Empire Press (Malta)
Coptic Reading Book !A Coptic Reading Book, with Glossary, for the Use
Pilcher, DorothyDorothy Pilcher
Bernard Quaritch (London)
Cambridge Excavations in Minorca, Sa Torreta
Bernard Quaritch (London)
Corpus of the Bronze-Age Pottery of Malta
Beck, HoraceHorace Beck and Themosticles Zammit
Bernard Quaritch (London)
Saqqara Mastabas Part II
Egyptian Research Account (London)
Cambridge Excavations in Minorca, Trapucó
Bernard Quaritch (London)
Petra, the Rock City of Edom
Petra !A Street in Petra
Ellis, J. C.J. C. Ellis
British School of
Archaeology in Egypt and Bernard Quaritch
Ancient Egyptian Religious Poetry
John Murray (London)
Splendour that was Egypt !The Splendour that was Egypt: A General
Survey of Egyptian Culture and Civilisation
Philosophical Library (London)
Divine King of England !The Divine King of England: A Study in
Faber & Faber (London)
My First Hundred Years
William Kimber & Co. (London)
Genesis of Religion !The Genesis of Religion
Kegan Paul (London)
^ Williams 1961, p. 433; Drower 2004, p. 110; Sheppard 2013,
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 2.
^ Drower 2004, p. 110; Sheppard 2013, p. 6.
^ Drower 2004, p. 110; Sheppard 2013, pp. 8–10.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 3–4, 13.
^ Thornton 2014, p. 5.
^ Williams 1961, p. 434; Oates & Wood 1998, p. 9.
^ Drower 2004, p. 110; Sheppard 2013, pp. 16–20.
^ Drower 2004, p. 110; Sheppard 2013, p. 21.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 21.
^ Drower 2004, p. 110; Sheppard 2013, pp. 21–22.
^ Drower 2004, pp. 110–111; Sheppard 2013, pp. 22–24.
^ Drower 2004, p. 111; Sheppard 2013, pp. 24–25.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 25.
^ Drower 2004, p. 111; Sheppard 2013, p. 26.
^ James 1963, p. 568; Janssen 1992, p. 10; Drower 2004,
p. 111; Sheppard 2013, pp. 26, 37, 41–44.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 10; Drower 2004, p. 111; Sheppard 2013,
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 45.
^ Drower 2004, p. 112; Sheppard 2013, pp. 45–46.
^ James 1963, p. 568; Drower 2004, p. 112; Sheppard 2013,
pp. 39, 47.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 48–49, 52.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 11; Oates & Wood 1998, p. 9; Drower
2004, pp. 112–113; Whitehouse 2013, p. 120; Sheppard 2013,
^ Drower 2004, p. 115; Sheppard 2013, pp. 52–53.
^ James 1963, p. 568; Janssen 1992, p. 12; Whitehouse 2013,
p. 121; Sheppard 2013, p. 87.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 14; Sheppard 2013, pp. 90–91.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 84.
^ James 1963, p. 569; Drower 2004, p. 113; Sheppard 2013,
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 64–66.
^ Williams 1961, p. 434; James 1963, p. 569; Drower 2004,
p. 114; Sheppard 2013, pp. 66–67.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 60, 68.
^ James 1963, p. 569; Drower 2004, p. 114; Sheppard 2013,
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 60, 75.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 60.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 86.
^ Drower 2004; Sheppard 2013, p. 117.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 108–109.
^ Drower 2004, p. 118; Sheppard 2013, pp. 110–111.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 111–112.
^ Drower 2004, p. 115.
^ Drower 2004, p. 116.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 106–107.
^ Drower 2004, p. 116; Sheppard 2012, pp. 526, 536–537;
Sheppard 2013, pp. 121, 126–127.
^ Sheppard 2012, p. 539; Sheppard 2013, pp. 126–129.
^ Drower 2004, p. 116; Sheppard 2012, p. 526; Sheppard 2013,
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 121.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 89.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 140–141.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 152.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 197–198, 202–205.
^ a b c Oates & Wood 1998, p. 13.
^ Drower 2004, pp. 118–119; Sheppard 2013, pp. 199–201.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 97.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 161.
^ Drower 2004, p. 118; Sheppard 2013, pp. 98, 162.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 18; Drower 2004, p. 118;
Sheppard 2013, p. 163.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 19; Drower 2004, p. 118;
Sheppard 2013, pp. 164–165.
^ Murray 1963, p. 104; Oates & Wood 1998, p. 18.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 166–166.
^ a b c Hutton 1999, p. 195.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 12; Hutton 1999, p. 195;
Sheppard 2013, pp. 168–169.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 90; Hutton 1999, p. 198.
^ a b Drower 2004, p. 119.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 89; Hutton 1999, p. 199; Drower 2004,
p. 119; Sheppard 2013, p. 169.
^ a b c d e Hutton 1999, p. 199.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 9; Sheppard 2013, p. 175.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 93; Hutton 1999, p. 196; Drower 2004,
p. 119; Sheppard 2013, pp. 169–171.
^ Drower 2004, pp. 121–122; Sheppard 2013, pp. 207–210.
^ Drower 2004, p. 112; Sheppard 2013, pp. 210–211.
^ Drower 2004, p. 112; Sheppard 2013, p. 210.
^ Williams 1961, p. 434; Drower 2004, p. 123; Sheppard 2013,
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 144–150.
^ a b Drower 2004, p. 124.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 10; Drower 2004, p. 115; Sheppard 2013,
^ James 1963, p. 569; Oates & Wood 1998, p. 9; Drower
2004, p. 115; Sheppard 2013, p. 97.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 21; Drower 2004, p. 121.
^ Drower 2004, pp. 124–125.
^ Drower 2004, p. 125.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 22; Sheppard 2013, p. 99.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 30; Drower 2004, pp. 127–128; Sheppard
2013, p. 224.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 201.
^ Williams 1961, p. 434; Drower 2004, p. 128; Sheppard 2013,
^ Drower 2004, pp. 128–129.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 226–227.
^ Drower 2004, pp. 130–131; Sheppard 2013, p. 228.
^ a b Drower 2004, p. 131.
^ "Who put Bella down the Wych Elm?". Strange Remains. 2015-04-24.
^ Drower 2004, pp. 131–132.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 140.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 178–188.
^ a b c Daniel 1964, p. 2.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, pp. 9, 91; Drower 2004, p. 132;
Sheppard 2013, p. 229.
^ a b c d Drower 2004, p. 132.
^ James 1963, p. 569; Simpson 1994, p. 94.
^ Welbourn 2011, pp. 157–159, 164–165; Gibson 2013,
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 16.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, pp. 32, 35.
^ Drower 2004, p. 132; Sheppard 2013, p. 230.
^ Janssen 1992, pp. 80–81; Drower 2004, p. 132; Sheppard
2013, pp. 230–231.
^ Anonymous 1963, p. 106.
^ a b Drower 2004, p. 132; Sheppard 2013, p. 231.
^ a b Oates & Wood 1998, p. 7.
^ Winick 2015, p. 567.
^ Winick 2015, p. 569.
^ Noble 2005, p. 12.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 16; Drower 2004, p. 119.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, pp. 16–18.
^ a b Winick 2015, p. 570.
^ Murray 1962, p. 6.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 11–12.
^ Murray 1962, p. 13; Doyle White 2016, p. 16.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 28–31.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 71, 79, 82.
^ Murray 1962, p. 225.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 190–191; Doyle White 2016, p. 16.
^ Murray 1962, p. 186.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 194–197.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 197–200.
^ Murray 1962, p. 15.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 12–13, 109.
^ Murray 1962, p. 97; Doyle White 2016, p. 16.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 111–112.
^ Murray 1962, p. 112.
^ Murray 1962, p. 124.
^ Murray 1962, p. 169.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 152–162.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 30–32.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 205–208.
^ Murray 1962, p. 19.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 14, 238.
^ Murray 1962, pp. 270–279.
^ Noble 2005, p. 14.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 89; Sheppard 2013, p. 169; Doyle White
2016, p. 16.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 196; Doyle White 2016, p. 16.
^ a b Simpson 1994, p. 93.
^ Murray 1952, p. 13; Doyle White 2016, p. 87.
^ Murray 1952, pp. 24–27.
^ Murray 1952, pp. 28–29.
^ Murray 1952, pp. 32–37, 43–44.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 272; Sheppard 2013, p. 170.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 272; Noble 2005, p. 12.
^ a b Thomas 1971, p. 515.
^ Runciman 1962, p. 5.
^ Cohn 1975, p. 108.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, pp. 28–29.
^ Rose 1962, p. 14.
^ a b Rose 1962, p. 15.
^ a b Simpson 1994, p. 90.
^ a b Burr 1922, p. 782.
^ a b Hutton 1999, p. 198.
^ Eliade 1975, p. 152.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. 169.
^ Burr 1922, pp. 780–783; Burr 1935, pp. 491–492.
^ Burr 1922, p. 781.
^ Halliday 1922; Hutton 1999, p. 198.
^ Loeb 1922, pp. 476–478.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 28; Hutton 1999, p. 198.
^ a b Rose 1962, p. 56.
^ Rose 1962, pp. 56–57.
^ Rose 1962, pp. 57–61.
^ Thomas 1971, p. 516; Simpson 1994, p. 90; Oates & Wood
1998, p. 28; Hutton 1999, p. 198; Noble 2005, p. 5.
^ a b c Simpson 1994, p. 94.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 362; Russell & Alexander 2007, p. 154.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 362.
^ Thomas 1971, p. 514.
^ a b Cohn 1975, p. 109.
^ Eliade 1975, pp. 152–153.
^ Purkiss 1996, p. 62.
^ Purkiss 1996, pp. 62–63.
^ Russell & Alexander 2007, p. 42.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 196.
^ Simpson 1994, pp. 90–91.
^ a b Russell & Alexander 2007, p. 154.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 95.
^ Ginzburg 1983, p. xix.
^ Ginzburg 1983, p. xiii.
^ Cohn 1975, p. 223; Hutton 1999, p. 378; Wood 2001,
^ Cohn 1975, p. 223.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 278.
^ Hutton 1999, p. 277.
^ a b Janssen 1992, p. 79.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 30.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 31.
^ a b Merrifield 1993, p. 10.
^ Davidson 1987, p. 123.
^ Wood 2001, p. 45.
^ a b James 1963, p. 568.
^ a b c d e Simpson 1994, p. 89.
^ a b c Hutton 1999, p. 194.
^ Sheppard 2012, p. 532.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 89; Hutton 1999, p. 200.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 12; Wood 2001, p. 46.
^ Murray 1963, pp. 196–204; Hutton 1999, p. 200.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 31; Hutton 1999, pp. 200–201; Drower
2004, p. 121.
^ Drower 2004, p. 120.
^ Finneran 2003, p. 108.
^ Thornton 2014, p. 1.
^ a b Whitehouse 2013, p. 120.
^ a b c d e Whitehouse 2013, p. 125.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 89; Wood 2001, p. 45.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 89; Oates & Wood 1998, p. 8.
^ Noble 2005, p. 24.
^ Janssen 1992, p. 88.
^ Janssen 1992, p. xiii.
^ Drower 2004.
^ Sheppard 2013, p. vii; Doyle White 2016b.
^ Doyle White 2016b, pp. 155–156.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 89; Sheppard 2013, p. 176.
^ Doyle White 2016b, p. 156.
^ Doyle White 2016, pp. 16–17.
^ a b Doyle White 2016, p. 77.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 87.
^ Doyle White 2016, pp. 97–98.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 101.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 120.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 132.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 28.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 89; Sheppard 2013, p. 177.
^ Oates & Wood 1998, p. 14; Doyle White 2016, p. 186.
^ Noble 2005, p. 17.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 34.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 38.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 188.
^ Valiente 1989, p. 24.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 55.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 59.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 63.
^ Simpson 1994, p. 95; Doyle White 2016, pp. 17, 81.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 83.
^ Doyle White 2016, pp. 81–82.
^ Doyle White 2016, pp. 77, 82.
^ Doyle White 2016, p. 82.
^ Doyle White 2016, pp. 82–83.
^ Faxneld 2014, pp. 642, 644; Winick 2015, p. 565.
^ Winick 2015, pp. 576–577.
^ Faxneld 2014, p. 645.
^ Winick 2015, p. 565.
^ Bonser 1961, pp. 560–566.
^ Drower 2004, pp. 135–140.
^ Sheppard 2013, pp. 253–254.
Anonymous (1963). "Dr. Margaret Murray's Hundredth Birthday". Man. 63:
106. JSTOR 2796898.
Bonser, Wilfrid (1961). "A Bibliography of the Writings of Dr Murray".
Folklore. 72 (3): 560–566. doi:10.1080/0015587X.1961.9717300.
Burr, George L. (1922). "Review of Margaret Murray's The Witch-Cult in
Western Europe". American Historical Review. 27 (4).
pp. 780–783. JSTOR 1837549.
——— (1935). "Review of Margaret Murray's The
the Witches". American Historical Review. 40 (3). pp. 491–492.
Cohn, Norman (1975). Europe's Inner Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the
Great Witch-Hunt. Sussex and London: Sussex University Press and
Heinemann Educational Books. ISBN 978-0-435-82183-8.
Daniel, Glyn (1964). "Editorial". Antiquity. 38 (149): 1–6.
Davidson, Hilda Ellis (1987). "Changes in the Folklore Society,
1949–1986". Folklore. 98 (2): 123–130.
Doyle White, Ethan (2016). Wicca: History, Belief, and Community in
Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Brighton, Chicago, and Toronto: Sussex
Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-84519-754-4.
——— (2016b). "Review of Kathleen L. Sheppard, The
Life of Margaret Alice Murray: A Woman's Work in Archaeology". Aries:
Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism. 16 (1): 154–156.
Drower, Margaret S. (2004). "Margaret Alice Murray". In Getzel M.
Cohen, Martha Joukowsky. Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women
Archaeologists. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
pp. 109–141. ISBN 978-0-472-11372-9. CS1 maint: Uses
editors parameter (link)
Eliade, Mircea (1975). "Some Observations on European Witchcraft".
History of Religions. 14 (3): 149–172. doi:10.1086/462721.
Faxneld, Per (2014). Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of
Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture. Stockholm: Molin &
Sorgenfrei. ISBN 978-91-87515-04-0.
Finneran, Niall (2003). "The Legacy of T.C. Lethbridge". Folklore. 114
(1): 107–114. doi:10.1080/0015587032000059915.
Gibson, Marion (2013). Imagining the Pagan Past: Gods and Goddesses in
History Since the Dark Ages. London and New York:
Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-67419-5.
Ginzburg, Carlo (1983) . The Night Battles: Witchcraft and
Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. John and
Anne Tedeschi (translators). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Halliday, W.R. (1922). "Review of Margaret Murray's The Witch-Cult in
Western Europe". Folklore. 33. pp. 224–230.
Hutton, Ronald (1999). The Triumph of the Moon: A
History of Modern
Pagan Witchcraft. New York: Oxford University Press.
James, E. O. (1963). "Dr. Margaret Murray". Folklore. 74 (4):
Janssen, Rosalind M. (1992). The First Hundred Years:
University College London, 1892–1992. London: University College
London. ISBN 978-0-902137-33-2.
Loeb, E. M. (1922). "Review of The Witch-Cult in Western Europe".
American Anthropologist. 24 (4): 476–78.
Merrifield, Ralph (June 1993). "G.B. Gardner and the 20th Century
Folklore Society News. 17: 10.
Murray, Margaret A. (1962) . The Witch-Cult in Western Europe.
Oxford: Clarendon Press.
——— (1952) . The
God of the Witches. London:
Faber and Faber.
——— (1963). My First Hundred Years. London: William
Noble, Catherine (2005). "From Fact to Fallacy: The Evolution of
Margaret Alice Murray's Witch-Cult Theory". The Pomegranate: The
International Journal of Pagan Studies. 7 (1): 5–26.
Oates, Caroline; Wood, Juliette (1998). A
Coven of Scholars: Margaret
Murray and her Working Methods. Archive Series 1. London: The Folklore
Society. ISBN 978-0-903515-16-0.
Purkiss, Diane (1996). The Witch in History: Early Modern and
Twentieth-Century Representations. Abingdon: Routledge.
Rose, Elliot (1962). A Razor for a Goat: A Discussion of Certain
Problems in Witchcraft and Diabolism. Toronto: Toronto University
Runciman, Steven (1962). "Foreword". In Margaret Murray. The
Witch-Cult in Western Europe. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Russell, Jeffrey B.; Alexander, Brooks (2007). A New
Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics and Pagans. London: Thames and Hudson.
Sheppard, Kathleen L. (2012). "Between Spectacle and Science: Margaret
Murray and the Tomb of the Two Brothers". Science in Context. 25 (4):
——— (2013). The Life of Margaret Alice Murray: A
Woman's Work in Archaeology. New York: Lexington Books.
Simpson, Jacqueline (1994). "Margaret Murray: Who Believed Her and
Why?". Folklore. 105. pp. 89–96. JSTOR 1260633.
Thornton, Amara (2014). "Margaret Murray's Meat Curry". Present Pasts.
6 (1): 1–7. doi:10.5334/pp.59.
Thomas, Keith (1971). Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in
Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England. London:
Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Valiente, Doreen (1989). The Rebirth of Witchcraft. London: Robert
Hale. ISBN 978-0-7090-3715-6.
Welbourn, Terry (2011). T.C. Lethbridge: The Man Who Saw the Future.
Winchester and Washington: O-Books. ISBN 978-1-84694-500-7.
Whitehouse, Ruth (2013). "
Margaret Murray (1863–1963): Pioneer
Egyptologist, Feminist and First Female
Archaeology International. 16: 120–127. doi:10.5334/ai.1608.
Williams, Mary (1961). "Ninety-Eight Years Young". Folklore. 72 (3):
Winick, Mimi (2015). "Modernist Feminist Witchcraft: Margaret Murray's
Fantastic Scholarship and Sylvia Townsend Warner's Realist Fantasy".
Modernism/Modernity. 22 (3): 565–592.
Wood, Juliette (2001). "
Margaret Murray and the Rise of Wicca". The
Pomegranate: A New Journal of Neopagan Thought (15): 45–54.
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
By Margaret Murray
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Media related to
Margaret Murray at Wikimedia Commons
Works by Margaret Alice Murray at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about
Margaret Murray at Internet Archive
ISNI: 0000 0000 8386 1308
BNF: cb12490128n (data)