I am saddened to have to report the passing of Nevill Drury, author of many influential works on the occult…
Nevill Drury (1 October 1947 – 15 October 2013) was born in Hastings, England, and became an Australian citizen in 1997.
He was best known to visitors to LAShTAL.COM as a writer on the relationship between art, visionary experience and the esoteric traditions. In 1971, during an eight-month visit to England, he worked in a London bookshop and acquired a reader’s ticket to the British Museum. Here he read the visionary texts of the neglected English artist Austin Osman Spare, who was both a trance artist and occultist. Nevill’s first book, The Search for Abraxas, co-authored with a university friend, Stephen Skinner, and published in 1972, delved further into this area. It was described by British author Colin Wilson, who contributed an introduction, as ‘the manifesto of a new generation’. Over a period of some forty years Nevill wrote and co-authored numerous books on shamanism, modern Western magic, contemporary art, ambient music, holistic health, paranormal consciousness research and esoteric thought. They included The Dictionary of Mysticism and the Esoteric (first published in the United States in 1988 and in-print in various editions ever since), an introductory text – The Elements of Shamanism – published in ten languages – and Stealing Fire from Heaven: the Rise of Modern Western Magic released by Oxford University Press in 2011. His 2013 publication, The Varieties of Magical Experience – inspired by William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience and co-authored with Queensland-based anthropologist Professor Lynne Hume – was published in the United States by Praeger and described as ‘a classic’ by academic specialists working in the same field.
Over a forty-year period Nevill wrote, co-authored or edited seventy book titles – and his work was published in 26 countries. He earned a Ph.D from the University of Newcastle in 2008 for an award-winning dissertation on the controversial ‘Witch of Kings Cross’, Rosaleen Norton and his biography of this colourful, bohemian artist, Pan’s Daughter (first published in 1988) was subsequently released in the UK in a revised and expanded edition in 2012. A companion volume – Homage to Pan, based on his Ph.D – was published by Creation Books in the UK in 2009 and by Edition Roter Drache in Germany in 2013.
This News item was adapted from an announcement on Nevill Drury’s site: http://www.nevilldrury.com/nevill-drury-obituary.htm