Jasper Ridley was a former barrister turned author and became one of England's leading biographers, recent works including lives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. His Lord Palmerstone was winner of the James Tait Black prize. His last work, The Freemasons, was highly acclaimed.
Dr LEO RUICKBIE, PhD (Lond), MA, BA (Hons), Associate of King's College, is a professional writer, editor, social scientist and historian, specialising in controversial areas of human belief and experience. His PhD is from King's College, London, for his thesis on contemporary witchcraft and magic use, building on research on the theory of re-enchantment that won him an MA with distinction from Lancaster University. He is the author of several books - Witchcraft Out of the Shadows (2004 and 2011), Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician (2009), A Brief Guide to the Supernatural (2012), A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting (2013) and The Impossible Zoo (2016) - as well as numerous publications in scholarly journals, magazines, such as Fortean Times, and newspapers, including the Daily Express. He is also the co-editor with Dr Simon Bacon of Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (2016), and with Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie of The Material Culture of Magic (forthcoming).As well as writing, he is the editor of the Paranormal Review, the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research, established in 1882 for the scientific study of what we now call the 'paranormal', and has worked on several editorial projects for the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (Romano-German Central Museum) in Mainz, Germany. In addition, he is an elected member of the Royal Historical Society, a council member of the Society for Psychical Research, a committee member of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik (Society for Anomalistics), as well as a member of the Parapsychological Association and the Royal Anthropological Institute. He has appeared several times on the Travel Channel series Mysteries at the Castle and his work has been mentioned in the media from the Guardian to Radio Jamaica. Not only has his expertise been sought by film companies, museums and charities, but he is also cited in the current student book for A-Level Sociology in the UK. He can be found on the web at www.ruickbie.com.
James M. Russell
JAMES M. RUSSELL has a philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, a post-graduate qualification in critical theory, and has taught at the Open University in the UK. He currently works as director of a media-related business. He is the author of Brief Guides to Philosophical Classics, Spiritual Classics and Business Classics. He lives in north London with his wife, daughter and two cats.