Book of Magical Charms

The Book of Magical Charms, also known as Newberry 5017, is a handwritten occult commonplace book composed in England in the seventeenth century and currently in the holdings of the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. The original volume, which has dos-à-dos binding, has no title nor any named author—


The Book of Magical Charms, also known as Newberry 5017, is a handwritten occult commonplace book composed in England in the seventeenth century and currently in the holdings of the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. The original volume, which has dos-à-dos binding, has no title nor any named author— "Book of Magical Charms" is the title assigned to it by the library staff who acquired it in 1988 along with a bundle of medical texts. Its pages were written using iron gall ink and likely a quill pen using Latin and archaic English, and contain numerous passages regarding charms for things such as healing a toothache or recovering a lost voice as well as how to talk to spirits. Although the book's principal author is not named, he was identified in 2017 from his handwriting as a London lawyer named Robert Ashley. Ashley likely composed the book over the course of his lifetime. No copies of the book were ever made.
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