“The catalogue starts with a listing for a delightful new limited edition book of the “inspired” art of the remarkable Madge Gill (1882 – 1961) and her non-corporeal collaborator Myrninerest. The book is edited by David Tibet and Henry Boxer, and comes in two versions with copies of the Special Edition including an original artwork by Gill.
The rest of the catalogue comprises a selection of books and journals relating to Spiritualism, the Occult, and Psychical Research. Amongst the rarer items are the only known copy (none are listed as being held by libraries) of Issue No. 1 of the Journal of the London Lodge of The Faery Investigation Society (1929), an inscribed copy of Dr. John Bourbon Wasson’s Modern Spiritualism Laid Bare (1887), Sir Oliver J. Lodge’s own copy of the first edition of his Phantom Walls (1929) with his hand-written corrections; and James Lawrence’s Angel Voices from the Spirit World (1874) a rare work which presents various communications “from the other side” on diverse topics such as “Which Should be the Head of the Family — Man or Woman,” “Woman’s Rights,” and “Celibacy — is it in Conformity with Nature’s Laws that Man and Woman Should Practice it?” Other interesting works include Stuart Cumberland’s Spiritualism — The Inside Truth (1919), in which the author recounts a seance he attended where the medium correctly described a number of hidden objects, including a medal that had belonged to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dead son, and a small medallion that belonged to W. Wynn Westcott (founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn), two biographies of Helen Duncan, the spiritual medium who in 1951 became the last person in England to be tried under the Witchcraft Act, M. T. Shelhamer’s Life and Labor in the Spirit World (1885) in which ‘members of the Spirit-Band’ of the author provide a detailed description of the of life in the “Summer-land;” and Penny Dutton Raffa’s surely unfortunately-titled Psycho to Psychic (1982) in which the author tells how a blow to the head, and her efforts to recover from it, led to her immersion in the world of parapsychology and psychical research. Not surprisingly many of the works purport to contain messages from those who have passed over, the number and variety of whom is quite astounding. Thus Francis H. Smith’s My Experience, or Foot-Prints of a Presbyterian to Spiritualism (1860) claims to contain messages from Edgar Allen Poe (who communicates in verse form); Sir Humphry Davy, Dr. Franklin, Sir Walter Scott, and others, William H. Burr’s Photographic Copies of Written Messages from the Spirit World (1918) contains messages from Henry Ward Beecher, James A. Garfield, Elbert Hubbard, Abraham Lincoln, Ernest W. Huffcut and others; C. P. Christensen’s The Spiritualist: Vol.2, No.11 (1916) contains a message from Queen Victoria; and more recently Jack Perry’s & Robert Neil Porter’s Spirit World Breakthrough (1969) comprises “a compilation of fifty messages from famous persons who have made the transition from this world to the next” with contributors including Cesare Borgia; Cleopatra; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Franz Schubert, Lee Harvey Oswald; Louis Pasteur; Marilyn Monroe; and many others. Not to be outdone, the great Scottish philosopher and man-of-letters Thomas Carlyle is said to have posthumously authored a complete book: Wm. J. Bryan’s What Spiritualism Really Is, by Thomas Carlyle in the Spirit World (1920).” [via]
Lunar and Sex Worship [also] by Ida Craddock, edited and with an introduction by Vere Chappell, the 2010 hardcover limited edition of 650 from Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“Philadelphia-born Ida Craddock (1857–1902) was a forceful public exponent of women’s rights and sexual freedom whose interest in Theosophy and Spiritualism led her into a profound involvement with the occult. Attacked by conservatives as promoting obscenity and immorality on account of her reforming activities, Craddock became the focus of an organised campaign of persecution. Facing a lengthy prison sentence that she did not expect to survive, she instead took her own life, at age forty-five.
After her death, Craddock’s work on sexuality and occultism attracted the interest of a small number of well-known figures, including Aleister Crowley, who wrote that she possessed ‘…initiated knowledge of extraordinary depth. She seems to have had access to certain most concealed sanctuaries… She has put down statements in plain English which are positively staggering.”
Amongst her papers, Craddock left two manuscripts, ‘Lunar and Sex Worship’ and ‘Sex Worship (Continued)’ that had been commissioned by her patron, the Spiritualist W. T. Stead. They are effectively studies of sexuality in religion and mythology, as viewed through the prism of Craddock’s own experiences and beliefs.
This Teitan Press edition of Lunar and Sex Worship is the first ever publication of ‘Lunar and Sex Worship’ and ‘Sex Worship (Continued).”‘ It comprises the complete text of both works, edited and introduced by Vere Chappell, an expert on the life and work of Craddock.” [via]
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