Book: The Essential TC Lethbridge

The Essential TC Lethbridge, Co-edited with Janet Hoult; foreword by Colin Wilson; Routledge and Kegan Paul (London), 1980; ISBN 0-7100-0396-X

Long out of print, but worth looking for in a second-hand bookstore.

This was an anthology of material from several of Tom Lethbridge’s books, which I edited with Janet Hoult; a mass-market edition was also published by Granada Publishing. Lethbridge was a somewhat eccentric freelance archaeologist with a refreshingly open mind, who published a fair number of books on explorations into dowsing and parapsychology in the 1950s and 1960s. Routledge asked us to edit over a thousand pages down to barely a fifth of the size, whilst still keeping the breadth of Lethbridge’s vision intact: an interesting task, but I think the result worked well enough! The book’s cover-copy states:

T.C. Lethbridge, who died in 1971, was an archaeologist, psychic researcher, dowser and explorer. For thirty years he was Director of Excavations for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society and for the University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. He was also, as Colin Wilson writes in the Foreword to The Power of the Pendulum (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976), ‘one of the most remarkable and original minds in parapsychology’.
The Essential T.C. Lethbridge is an abridgement of the late work of Lethbridge, in which the major ideas were that ghosts are pictures produced by human minds rather than the spirits of the departed; that there is something entirely wrong about our general conception of time; and that magic, in the traditional sense, is the application of resonance – the interconnection of all things. His studies, as shown in this book, range from ghosts and field theory, through the uses of dowsing and psychometry, to a theory of a ‘master plan’ beyond evolution and physical death.

The last part of the book deals with Lethbridge’s researches in the legends of the ‘sons of God’ – the myths and legends which so many have interpreted as proof of ancient visitors from other worlds. Lethbridge approaches this difficult material as an archaeologist, extending his former researches into witchcraft and the old gods, and arrives at conclusions more comprehensive and relevant than most other writers in this field.

Essential reading for all students of Lethbridge, the book should also appeal to all those interested in parapsychology, the occult, dowsing and archaeology.

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