|"He’s a stranger here, your majesty... he couldn’t possibly know."|
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- "And what a book it was! It was written, not printed; written in a clear, even hand, with thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes, very large, easier than print, and so beautiful that Lucy stared at it for a whole minute and forgot about reading it."
- ―Chapter 10 [src]
The Book of Incantations was a magic book kept in the possession of the fallen star Coriakin. The book contained many magic spells and incantations, which were only effective if they were read by Coriakin or by a young girl.
The book's origin is unknown. Possibly Coriakin created the book by writing down all the magic that he knew of inside it.
In all its known history, the book is kept on the table at the centre of his library, on his island in the Eastern Sea.
At some point around or before the 2300s, Coriakin used a spell from the book on his servants, the Duffers, to alter their appearance. Shortly after, a duffer girl called Clipsie used the book to make all the inhabitants of the island invisible.
In around 2306, Queen Lucy the Valiant used the book to undo the former invisibility spell. She also cast a spell to know what others thought of her.
The book held many spells, including the following: -
- A spell to cure warts (Wash ones hands in a silver basin, under a tree by moonlight. Light a candle in front of you and close your eyes. Dip your fingers into the basin, open your eyes and peer at the moon chanting these words: - Oh silver moon, combine our powers to heal thine affliction).
- A spell for curing a toothache (Incantation: The teeth therein harme, the agapis bring charme).
- A spell for curing cramps.
- A spell for taking a swarm of bees.
- A spell for finding buried treasure.
- A spell for remembering things (Incantation: Forget thou will not, When the fire burns hot, And the cup bubbles over, With the scent of fresh clover)
- A spell for forgetting things (Incantation: Make the past disappear, With the feather of raven, And the mornings first dew, Stir well in the pot, Eat a fresh leek stew).
- A spell to know whether someone was telling the truth.
- A spell for conjuring or preventing weather patterns, including wind, fog, snow, sleet or rain.
- A spell for producing an enchanted sleep.
- A spell for turning a human head into a donkey's head.
- A spell to make oneself beautiful beyond the lot of mortals (a beauty spell) (Incantation: Transform my reflection. Cast into Perfection. Lashes, lips and complexion. Make me she, whom I'd agree holds more beauty over me).
- A spell for knowing what others were thinking of you (which worked by turning the book's illustrations into something like cinema pictures of people talking about you).
- A spell for the 'refreshment of the spirit,' which is like a story that one can not remember.
- A spell to make things invisible.
- A spell to make the unseen seen (visible spell) (Incantation: Like the P in psychology, the H in psychistry, invisible ink and the truth in theology. The spell is complete. Now all is visible).
- A spell for changing the appearance of people.
- A spell for snow (Incantation: With these words your tongue must sew, for all around there to be snow.)
The book was very thick, and kept closed by means of two lead clasps. The inside was written by a clear hand, 'with thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes', and every page was crisp and smooth, and had a nice smell.
After the turning of each page, the magic of the book prevents the reader from turning back to previous incantations. To accompany every spell, there were a number of pictures. All of the pictures were vivid and coloured, and many (if not all) of them moved. The pictures demonstrated the possible results of the spell being said. Some of these pictures included sound so that the spell-speaker could hear, as well as see, the results of their actions.
The book started with no important spells, and then continued with more serious ones. Some of the incantations mentioned in the book were; a cure for warts, toothache and cramp, and a spell for dealing with a swarm of bees. There was also one that allowed you to find a buried treasure, and one to remember things forgotten, or to forget things you want to forget. There were incantations to know if someone was speaking the truth, and how to call up (or to prevent) wind, fog, snow, sleet or rain.
- In the book, the beauty spell's description went as, "An infallible spell to make beautiful her that uttereth it beyond the lot of mortals." Whereas in the film, it went as, "An infallible spell to make you she the beauty you've always wanted to be".
- The beauty spell is somewhat different in the film to the book, judging by its words and description. In the book, it sounds like the spell will make any girl who speak it divinely beautiful. Whereas in the film, the spell simply changes someone into someone else who they believe is more beautiful than they are.
- It might be a coincidence, but in the toothache spell, which goes "The teeth therein harme, the agapis bring charme". If you do an online search for the word "agapis", you come up with a number of names for an old family of dentists.
- In the film, when Lucy first finds the book it won't open and the letters on the front cover are all jumbled up. There was a small ornament of a Cupid above it that came alive and looked as though it were blowing on something. Lucy copied it by blowing on the book, which caused the letters to come together and spell out the book's title. After which, Lucy was then able to open it.