Book Tour + Book Review: “Occult Paris” by Tobias Churton

Tobias Churton

on Tour

December 15-21



Occult Paris:
The Lost Magic of the Belle Époque

(nonfiction – history – occult)

Release date: October 30, 2016
at Inner Traditions • Bear & Company

ISBN: 978-1620555453
528 pages


Historian Tobias Churton explores the magical, artistic, and intellectual world of the Belle Époque Paris. He brings into full perspective the personalities, and forces that made Paris a global magnet and which allowed later cultural movements, such as the “psychedelic 60s,” to rise from the ashes of post-war Europe.


Writer and educator Tobias Churton presents an original piece of arcane history in the Occult Paris.

He has certainly brought this world to life! You’ll be introduced to the mysterious side of Paris and its unique characters involved like Stanislas De GuaitaJoséphin Péladan, and Papus.

I was satisfied with the new information I’ve gained from Occult Paris, but some chapters simply weren’t engaging to me.The esoteric philosophies and groups were more intriguing than the trivial conflicts between some artists/philosophers. Churton is a precise, academic writer. He’ll carry out all he can muster so his readers are well-informed.  He has done an excellent job doing so.

A couple of subjects from Occult Paris have captured my interests including:

  • Mysticism in Symbolist Art
  • The seeress Anna Kingsford (1846 – 1888)
  • The perspective of God as an androgynous being
  • The revival of Cathar history
  • The influence of Madame Blatvatsky upon Paris
  • Composer Claude Debussy’s connection to the occult

Fun fact: There is more meaning involved behind the Symbolist art of Baphomet (much more than a spooky devil figure).

Churton’s inspiration for Occult Paris came from his discovery of Péladan, a writer
and critic of the arts. Péladan published a few books sparking the interest of the occult within the Parisian community. He hosted art exhibits, the Salon de la Rose + Croix, for Symbolist artists.

Another fun fact: Péladan influenced artist Salvador Dali’s works.

Overall, despite a few tedious chapters, Churton has written a lively portrayal of the secretive, late 19th-century Paris.  I highly recommend being familiar with the western European occult and key figures before taking a dive into this book.

Occult Paris isn’t an easy read but you’ll be rewarded with the knowledge of its veiled history after you’re done.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Format: Hardcover

Source: “Freebie” – I’ve received this book free of charge from the author/publisher.




Tobias Churton
is Britain’s leading scholar
of Western Esotericism,
a world authority on Gnosticism,
Hermeticism, and Rosicrucianism.
An Honorary Fellow of Exeter University,
where he is a faculty lecturer,
he holds a master’s degree in Theology
from Brasenose College, Oxford,
and is the author of many books,
including Gnostic Philosophy and
Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin.
He lives in England.


Thursday, December 15

Friday, December 16

Review + Giveaway at Words And Peace

Monday, December 19
Review + Excerpt + Giveaway at
Musings of a Writer & Unabashed Francophile

Tuesday, December 20

Review at Svetlana’s reads and views

Wednesday, December 21
Review + Giveaway at Turning the Pages


You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all:
3 winners will receive a print copy of the book




5 thoughts on “Book Tour + Book Review: “Occult Paris” by Tobias Churton

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