"May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books." -Thomas Carlyle
Welcome to my virtual book collection. Since collecting actual books is somewhat cost-prohibitive, I've begun to amass all of the books I would love to have if I had the means. Some are new, lots are old, all are unique or beautiful or unusual or in some other way have captured my fancy. Enjoy browsing!
Special Collections: Fine Bindings ~ Fairies and Fairy Tales ~ Terror and Madness ~ Poetry ~ Food, Drink and Apothecary ~ Science Fiction ~ Illuminations, Lettering and Hand-Coloring ~ Magic ~ Supernatural and Occult ~ Alchemy ~ Science and Technical ~ Maritime ~ Costumes ~ Humor ~ Children's books ~ Legend of King Arthur ~ Americana ~ 18th Century ~ 19th Century Authors and illustrators: Edgar Allan Poe ~ Jules Verne ~ Edmund Dulac ~ Kay Nielsen ~ Arthur Rackham ~ Edward Gorey ~ Charles Dickens ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ William Hope Hodgson ~ Mark Twain ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Salvador Dali ~ George Cruikshank ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~ H.G. Wells
Pierrot! A Story
by Stacpoole, Henry de Vere. John Lane, London, 1896.
Illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley.
Original ivory-coloured pictorial cloth depicting a Pierrot clown selecting books in a library in red; red spine titles; red pictorial device to rear. Decorative endpapers; 163pp + 16pp rear catalogue (most of catalogue is uncut and unopened), all edges untrimmed.
A scarce novel of the supernatural involving a blurring of sexual boundaries. John Lane obviously liked this book immensely because it launched his ‘Pierrot Library’ series which also included Stacpoole’s other novel of weird decadent supernaturalism, ‘Death, The Knight & The Lady’. The author was a gifted novelist and although his later works sold in significantly greater numbers, his two early novels are for me wonderful examples of beguiling ‘fin-de-siecle’ supernaturalism.
Daemoniaci, hoc est: de obsessis a spiritibus daemoniorum hominibus liber unus
Petrus (Peter) Thyraeus. Cologne, M. Cholinus, 1598
Second edition, spotting and dampstaining throughout, 2 small tears to title, wormtrail not affecting text to inner margin continuing to p.140, defective endpapers, modern library stamp to second leaf, contemporary pigskin, stained and worn, small 4to,
Chronicles of the Photographs of Spiritual Beings and Phenomena
Houghton (Georgina), 1852.
6 photographic plates, occasional very light spotting, plate I loose, original decorative cloth, gilt, spine very slightly browned, 8vo,
Flagellum daemonum, se exorcismi terribiles, potentissimi, & efficaces;
Bologna, for Ioannes Rossius, 1578.
First Latin edition of this work about exorcism and demonology, originally written by Hieronymus Mengus, or Gerolamo Menghi in Italian. Mengus was the most famous Italian exorcist, and even the official exorcist of the bishop of Bologna. The book is a practical guide of how demons should be interrogated to receive information from them. Mengus writes that demons can live in a human body, that they fight with each other, and that the infidelity of the exorcists can obstruct the deliverance of the possessed. The catholic ritual of exorcism was long and complicated, made of formules, prayers, blessings with sacred water and unctions with sacred oil.
Yakkun Nattannawā. John Callaway, translator. London, Oriental Translation Fund, 1829.
A Cingalese poem descriptive of the Ceylon system of demonology; to which is appended the practices of a Capua or devil priest … and Kōlan Nattannawā: a Cingalese poem. First edition, subscriber’s copy. Calloway’s translations of the ceremonial poems are accompanied by his notes, and by his preface on Cingalese and Buddhist demon worship.
FYI: Booktryst posted a brief but informative article on Agrippa’s celebrated Books of Occult Philosophy today.
The Brood of the Witch Queen
Sax Rohmer. New York, A.L. Burt Co., Book undated, original published 1918, having a hell of a time determining when this edition was published, whether an early or later edition, but marked with the original publisher’s mark on the spine.
Preface: “The strange deeds of Antony Ferrara, as herein related, are intended to illustrate certain phases of Sorcery as it was formerly practised (according to numerous records) not only in the Ancient Egypt but also in Europe during the Middle Ages. in no case do the powers attributed to him exceed those which are claimed for a fully equipped Adept. (S.R.)
B-A Note: This was a gift from my partner. I wasn’t familiar with Sax Rohmer (aka Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward) until I realized he wrote the classic “Fu-Manchu” series. Seems primarily a mystery writer but did write some supernatural/horror fiction including this one. Now I find myself wanting to read more of his work.
Further note: Having difficulty with my picture upload, so apologies if the pictures are sideways. Nothing is as it appears on this computer.
The Revolt of The Angels
France, Anatole (1844-1924), London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited, 1928.
Decorative binding by G. Crette. With illustrations by Frank C. Pape, full gilt tooled crushed navy blue morocco with Art Deco red starburst and arrow onlay, with iridescent blue moire dublures, embossed binder’s mark “Crette succ. de Marius Michel,” slipcased, 8vo
Supernaturall Sights and Apparitions Seen in London, June 30. 1644. interpreted. With a Mathematicall Discourse of the now imminent Conjunction of Jupiter and Mars, 26. July, 1644.
William Lilly,16 pages. 4to, 19th-century boards with morocco lettering piece.
The Secrets of the Invisible World Disclos’d: or, An Universal History of Apparitions Sacred and Prophane, Under all Denominations; whether, Angelical, Diabolical, or Human-Souls departed
Daniel Defoe (as Andrew Moreton, Esqu. - pseud). London: J. Clarke et al., 1729.
First published in 1727 as An Essay on the History and Reality of Apparitions.
FIENDS,GHOSTS,AND SPRITES. Including an account of the origin and nature of belief in the supernatural. Radcliffe, John Netten. London, Richard Bentley, 1854. FIRST EDITION.8vo.Publisher’s green wave-grain cloth,covers blocked in blind,spine lettered and decorated in gilt all over,cream endpapers,edges untrimmed.
Radcliffe was to become a leading epidemiologist and public health activist.The present work was written while he still was at the Leeds school of medicine,before he entered service in the Crimea as a surgeon attached to the headquarters of Omar Pasha.The text includes learned discussions of comparative folklore,ghosts,dreams and modern spiritualism,with an appendix reprinting Extracts from Professor Faraday’s Letter on Table Moving,from the Athenaeum,1853.The spine-lettering identifies it as part of the “Parlour Book-case
CHALDEAN MAGIC (First UK Edition) London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1877.
Translated from the French with considerable additions by the Author and notes by the Editor. vg copy. Hb. Green cloth cover with black lettering, design and illustration to front; and black bands, bright gilt lettering and bright gilt symbols to spine.
The work draws largely from a tablet from the library of the Royal Palace at Nineveh which contains numerous formulas of ‘deprecatory incantations against evil spirits, the effects of sorcery, disease etc. ” A fascinating insight into the magical practices the Chaldeans, with 31 chapters which include Mythology of the Underworld; Magic and Sorcery of the Chaldeans; and Chaldean Demonology.
Sea Phantoms or Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and of Sailors Fletcher Bassett. Morrill Higgins & Co, 1892.
Fair/no dj as issued (both hinges are cracked and taped with archival transparent mending tape purple stamp fpep edges and boards lightly soiled edges bumped interior intact Grey boards 1/4 brown and gilt decorated binding First revised edition cs 1008
How much do I want a book titled “Peeps Into the Psychic World”! Peeps! Hee. It looks like it is being sold by Weiser; this makes me sad, just a little. We used to deal directly with Weiser, before the business closed. Ah, well. I was well out of there by then, and I guess everything happens for a reason.
A series of supposedly supposedly trues stories, involving such topics as “the psychic influence of jewels,” “past lives,” “ghost stories” “invisible helpers” and a reprint of “The Bow-men” by Arthur Machen.
Ha! I love it!
Les Fleurs du Mal Baudelaire, Charles. First Edition, First Issue. Paris, Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1858.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, without title-page, dark morocco gilt by Charles Meunier (signed in blind on covers, and gilt on front turn-in), covers with central pictorial panels worked in coloured onlays (upper panel depicting a skeleton and flowers rising up with from a bed of skulls, entwined with a snake against a backdrop of the sun emerging from behind the mountains, captioned “Les fleurs du mal”; lower panel of a skull resting on an open book and thistles, entwined with a banner “Amor A Mort”), purple watersilked endpapers, gilt dentelles with skull cornerpieces„ g.e., central original printed wrappers bound in, half morocco chemise [Carteret I, pp.118-123].