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Rough Magicke
by John Wm. Houghton
(Also author of Falconry)


Rough Magicke is a remarkable witch’s brew of super­natural, Christian, classical and scientific arcana, served up at an all-too-real Midwestern military school.

"An occult thriller, scary, learned, and charitable in the true tradition of Charles Williams and his fellow Inklings," wrote T.A. Shippey, editor of The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories..

"Intellectual and literary, Rough Magicke juxtaposes the arcane and the sacred while providing a glimpse of the divine. It’s Dead Poets Society with a dash of Harry Potter and The Name of the Rose." adds Mike Brotherton, author of Star Dragon (Tor Books, 2003) and Spider Star (2006).

"Rough Magicke is Goodbye, Mr. Chips meets The Father Brown Mysteries, with the welcome and in fact sorely needed addition of witchcraft, telepathy, quicksand and magic rings," raves Mark O'Donnell of Broadway's HAIRSPRAY fame and author of Getting Over Homer and other fine books from Knopf.


John William Houghton grew up in Culver, Indiana (a town his family founded in 1844), and was graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1971. A prize-winning historian with degrees from Harvard, Yale, Indiana and Notre Dame universities, he has taught English and Religious Studies, served as a school chaplain, and contributed to both Tolkien the Medievalist and The Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism.

Dr. Houghton is also the author of Falconry and other poems, published by Unlimited Publishing LLC in 2003. Houghton’s verse has been described as "a seamless modernization of Robert Frost." The characters of these poems show us glimpses of a spiritual world hidden, not in the forest paths and stone fences of New England, but in the equally rugged landscape of human relationships. The metrical discipline hidden within the seemingly natural speech of Houghton's characters reflects contemporary sensibilities in a transparent mirror of classical forms and structures. While a few of the poems have appeared previously in such publications as The Living Church and The Classical Outlook, this is Houghton's first book-length collection of poetry -- a remarkable work of literature for the sophisticated reader of verse.


This is the latest release of the Harvardwood Books Series, co-published by Unlimited Publishing LLC and Harvardwood, an organization of Harvard alumni, students, faculty and staff in the arts, media and entertainment worlds. The series showcases selected works by Harvard-connected writers in a variety of genres. Harvardwood is actively seeking new members - especially Harvard people in the fields of broadcast and print journalism, print and electronic publishing, fine arts and performing arts. For more information, please visit

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