|Photo by Lesley Andrews-Buffard
Dr Nevill Drury
Author, publisher and lecturer Nevill Drury is one of Australia’s leading writers in the field of esoteric non-fiction, specialising in such subject areas as the Western magical tradition, shamanism and the history of New Age spirituality. He has also written a number of books on contemporary Australian art and holistic health, and has illustrated books for young children. Nevill’s books have been released in 25 countries and published in 18 languages.
Nevill’s most recent publications in the field of esoteric non-fiction include Sacred Encounters: Shamanism and Magical Journeys of the Spirit (Watkins, London 2003); Magic and Witchcraft: from Shamanism to the Technopagans (Thames & Hudson, London and New York 2003); The New Age: the History of a Movement (Thames & Hudson, London and New York, 2004) and Homage to Pan: the life, art and sex magic of Rosaleen Norton (Creation Books, London 2009). Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic – which Nevill regards as perhaps his most significant book to date - will be published in March 2011 by Oxford University Press, New York.
Born in Hastings, England in 1947, Nevill has lived in Australia since he was nine. He attended Sydney University in the late 1960s and later earned his Master of Arts (honours) degree in anthropology from Macquarie University. He received his PhD from the University of Newcastle in 2008 for a dissertation on the visionary art and magical beliefs of Rosaleen Norton.
Back in the mid-1970s Nevill began what would become a long editorial career in book publishing. He worked for Harper & Row and Doubleday before co-founding Craftsman House in 1981– a company that in due course would become Australia's leading publisher in the field of contemporary visual arts. He remained publishing manager of this company until December 1999 and then worked for a few years as a secondary school teacher. Nevill was also a full-time writer and lecturer, and lived on the NSW south coast.
After a long struggle with various cancers and complications, Nevill was found to have advanced liver failure and he made his transition peacefully at home on 15th October 2013 aged 66.
It's a profound body of work he has left behind in writing, editing, publishing, art, video and music. Such an amazing collection of information and experiences. He supported so many artists and healers. Quite a legacy.
Condolences go out to his wife Lesley and his three children Rebecca, Megan and Ben.