It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Dr. Dave Evans, a historian who carried out pioneering work in documenting various facets of the British occult milieu since 1947. A practising magician as well as a scholar, Dave was the author of both Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magic (2001) and The History of British Magick After Crowley (2007), the latter based on doctoral research that he undertook at Bristol University under Professor Ronald Hutton.
Dr Evans was also the co-editor of Ten Years of Triumph of the Moon (2009), editor of The Enduring Problems with Prophecy (2012), and author of articles and chapters in a range of both academic and popular outlets. He was also the mastermind behind the Academic Study of Magic list-serve, and with Dr Alison Butler was responsible for creating the Journal for the Academic Study of Magic; these ventures have helped bring together scholars interested in Western esotericism, witchcraft, and allied areas in constructive dialogue.
Dr Evans was a down-to-earth and funny guy. He was very much straight talking, always willing to give a forthright answer or honest opinion, which was probably part of what made him so endearing to his friends. He kindly gave an interview with me here at Albion Calling last December, in which he reflected on his life and work; reading it back now gives an added poignancy to many of his comments. I hope that the interview acts as something of a tribute to him and encourages future readership for his work.
Having been diagnosed with a terminal illness earlier this summer, Dave decided to live out his last days amongst the beautiful scenery of New Zealand.