Home » Contributors » Patrick Harpur

Patrick Harpur

Patrick Harpur

Patrick Harpur grew up in Surrey, attended Cranleigh School and travelled for a year in Africa before going to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, to read English. Subsequently he did much of the reading and research which he would eventually use in his books, and wrote poetry, stories and plays by way of practice, while supporting himself with part-time jobs, such as teaching, market research, gardening, computer personnel etc. For five years he worked in London as a researcher and then as an editor for a book-packaging company. His first book was a ‘theological thriller’ entitled The Serpent’s Circle (UK Macmillan, 1985; Coronet, 1986, and US St Martin’s Press, 1985; Warner, 1986). His second was a novel about an autistic child, The Rapture (Macmillan, 1986; Coronet, 1986). Mercurius; or, the Marriage of Heaven and Earth, a partly fictional account of the Great Work of alchemy, was published by Macmillan in 1990 and re-issued by The Squeeze Press in 2008. His first attempt at complete non-fiction was Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld (UK Viking, 1995; Penguin, 1996 and US Penguin, 1995, 1996; re-issued by Pine Winds Press, Idyll Arbor, 2003) which attempted to make sense of visions and apparitions by recourse to Platonic philosophy, Jungian psychology, and the Romantic notion of imagination. The Philosophers’ Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination (UK Penguin, 2002 and US Ivan R. Dee, 2003; re-issued by The Squeeze Press, 2009) outlined an esoteric Western way of seeing the world which has been largely neglected. In 2010, Rider published the rather ambitiously titled A Complete Guide to the Soul which appeared a year later in the US as The Secret Tradition of the Soul (Evolver Editions, an imprint of North Atlantic Books). The Savoy Truffle (Skylight Press, 2013) is a highly autobiographical, blackish comedy set in the Home Counties of the 1960s.  The Good People (Strange Attractor Press, 2017) is a modern fairytale and a sort of fictional companion-volume to Daimonic RealityThe Stormy Petrel (The Squeeze Press, 2017) is a novel based on the life and work of the Danish thinker Soren Kierkegaard whose writings have gripped Patrick for years. His four non-fiction books have been translated into Spanish and published by Ediciones Atalanta. At the same time as he was writing these, Patrick was commissioned by BBC television to write an adaptation of The Rapture; plus, he has written pieces for such publications as The GuardianFortean TimesGnosisResurgence, the New Statesman and the Independent on Sunday. He’s often invited to give talks in the UK, in Spain and in America; he’s taught post-graduate students at Schumacher College (Dartington). Patrick lives in West Dorset.

Upcoming events with Patrick Harpur (1)

The Future Mind – A Conversation with Patrick Harpur

June 19, 2024