Collected essays are a popular and useful way of throwing light on their proclaimed subject matter or period, and of bringing recent research to a more general audience. They are, of course, inevitably limited in their scope, although this does not necessarily imply that they are at all parochial. ‘Europe’ is a frequent and obvious geographical limitation imposed upon matter dealing with magic and witchcraft, and ‘early modern’ a common chronological set of termini. Thus, the recent Oxford handbook of witchcraft (2013) declares itself confined – a very broad confinement – to early modern Europe and Colonial America. Bengt Ankarloo and Stuart Clark's earlier Athlone history of witchcraft and magic in Europe (1999–2002) again takes Europe as its principal theatre, although its spread over six volumes allows the editors to begin with the ancient Middle East and extend chronologically to the twentieth century. By adding ‘in the West’ to the title of his collection, Collins therefore appears to be confining himself geographically (although ‘the West’ is remarkably large), while ‘from antiquity to the present’ extends to his contributors a brave allowance of time in a single volume. This volume, then, more or less follows an established pattern for this kind of scholarly work. How far does it succeed in matching the endeavours and achievements of its predecessors?