Author: Robert Mathiesen and Teitic
Trade Paperback, 167 pages
Publisher: Olympian Press
Publication date: 2005
Price & More Info: Click Here
I could claim that I have waited for this book to be written, and that would
be true in general. Thirty years ago, as I began my studies of Alexandrian
Craft, I had seen Lady Gwen's original article in Green Egg (I was a member
of a CAW Nest in Chicago, and my nest-mate, fellow student, and friend John
P. gifted me with a batch of back issues of the Egg and I carried on from
there). At the time the "grandmother story" was starting to become a cliche
and, since most such claims could not be verified they were taken with a
grain (or more) of salt.
The first quarter of this work is devoted to the background of Lady Gwen
Thompson and her ancestry. Last half of the book is devoted to the
genealogical records supporting the work laid out in the first part of the
book, so only about one quarter of the book is actually devoted to the
The meat of the book addresses the potential sources of the information
contained in the "Rede". There are no hard and fast conclusions possible,
since family histories are, most often, carried down by word of mouth, and
errors can creep into the telling. It is shown that Lady Gwen's family had
the potential of having connections which could have led to them being
considered witches. They definitely had the chance to follow such pursuits.
If you want a book which will give you the history of "Rede", I'm afraid you
will disappointed. There is no one history of the "Rede", since there is no
one "Rede". Each tradition may have its own particular take, and each
family tradition will have their own bits of wisdom which will be passed
Having said that, I found the book fascinating. The fact that I am
interested in genealogy may have helped me to form that opinion. Still, it
would be nice if more groups would work with academically qualified
individuals to document their history before the information disappears.
There is a paper listing errors that have been caught between the printing
of the book and the mailing out of it. There aren't a whole lot them, and I
only found one that the editors had missed.
This is an excellent book, which deserves to be read by students of the
Craft, Traditionalist, fam-trads, Solitaries and New-Agers all.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason