Welcome to this, the one hundred and twentieth of our on-line catalogues. The subject of the catalogue is Witchcraft, with most of the works relating to what might loosely be termed “The Western Witchcraft Tradition,” spanning the period from the late Middle-Ages, through the European and American witch trials, to the modern witchcraft revival. Most of the books are quite modestly priced used books from the second half of the twentieth century, although there are some rarities scattered throughout.
The rarities include a copy of Robert Calef’s scathing account of the Salem witchcraft trials More Wonders of the Invisible World: or The Wonders of the Invisible World Displayed (Salem, 1796) and an extremely rare edition (limited to only 50 copies) of Michael Smith’s, The True Story of Father Girard and Miss Cadiere (1840) which recounts the sagas of Catherine Cadière and Jean-Baptiste Girard, subjects of what is commonly regarded as the last of the French witch trials and the last public examination of a case of “possession.” The works of the witch-hunters themselves are represented by a number of handsome limited editions edited by the remarkable Reverend Montague Summers. These include Henry Boguet, An Examen of Witches (1929), Richard Bovet, Pandaemonium (1951); Nicholas Remy, Demonolatry (1930); and Jacobus Sprenger & Henry Kramer, Malleus Maleficarum (1928).
Another work of considerable rarity is a first edition of Charles G. Leland’s Aradia. or The Gospel of the Witches of Italy (1899), an account of the beliefs, rituals and practices of an ancient Tuscan witchcraft tradition that is often cited as the work which fired the twentieth century witchcraft revival. Also by Charles Leland is the huge, handsome, but rather deceptively-named volume: Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition (1892). The book comprises two parts, “Gods and Goblins” and “Incantations, Divination, Medicine, and Amulets,” with the latter part of particular importance to those with an interest in magic and witchcraft. There are two different issues of the book in the catalogue, the one is the “ordinary” edition, the other, the “fine edition” is slightly larger format and limited to 100 numbered copies (of which this is number 2), signed by Leland, and with an original black and white drawing by him tipped in facing the title-page.
More recent works include scarce biographies of two of the most significant figures in the twentieth century withcraft movement in Britain, Gerald Gardner and Maxine Saunders, the former being J. L. Bracelin’s Gerald Gardner: Witch (1960), and the latter Richard Deutch’s The Ecstatic Mother: Portrait of Maxine Sanders – White Queen (1977). Another significant figure in twentieth century occultism who is only now starting to achieve recognition was the artist Rosaleen Norton, represented here by an unusually clean first edition of The Art of Rosaleen Norton with Poems by Gavin Greenlees (1952), a limited edition book that was banned in both Australia and the US at the time of its publication on account of its allegedly obscene artwork, as well as a second edition of the same book (1982) signed by Walter Glover, who not only published both editions of the work but was instrumental in its conception. [via]