Here is how I started my first two witchcraft musings in October.
In November 1999, Glenda and I went on a Thanksgiving excursion. We were living in Maryland at the time, so this was the American November Thanksgiving weekend. We drove down into Virginia and West Virginia, and the mountainous terrain was spectacular. We went into Lexington, Virginia where there was a nice little bookstore called The Bookery. Wandering through the bookshelves, I noticed a small handwritten sign “Witchcraft” and I bought all the books in the section – maybe four or five. I would imagine that the sign came down after we left.
Here is another of the books acquired that day.
Witchcraft Magic & Alchemy; by Grillot De Givry; translated by J. Courtenay Locke; with 10 plates in colour and 366 illustrations in the text; George G. Harrap & Company Limited, London, first published 1931.
Interesting to note that this book and the two other volumes covered in the two earlier musings were all published in the late 1920s or early 1930s, indicating that the collector/owner was active in that period.
“Émile Jules Grillot called Émile-Jules Grillot de Givry (or Émile-Angelo Grillot de Givry) (5 August 1874 in Paris – 16 February 1929 in Paris) was a French Catholic man of letters and occultist, Freemason and pacifist, translator into French of numerous alchemical works including those of Paracelsus.
In 1911, he published Le Christ et la Patrie. A documented study on the theoretical and theological incompatibility between Christianity and militarism. Initially ignored, the text was suddenly popular after the First World War. In 1924, a second edition was published, and the book became one of the cornerstones of French anti-militarist literature.
In 1925 and 1926, he translated into French both the Monas Hieroglyphica of John Dee and The Kabbalah of Jacques Casanova of Bernhard Marr.
In the bibliography - His latest book: Musée des Sorciers, mages et Alchimistes (in French).
Imp. De Compiègne: Librairie de France. 1929. Translated by J. Courtenay Locke: The Picture
Museum of Sorcery, Magic and Alchemy. New York: University Books Inc. 1963.”
This last item is quite interesting. There is no mention of Courtney’s 1929 translation – this book, that was titled Witchcraft Magic and Alchemy. But, in this volume the three sections of text are: Sorcerers, Magicians, and Alchemists. So, in the later reprint, the publisher dropped the word “Witchcraft” and substituted “Sorcery”, that is probably more accurate but does not fit with my “Witchcraft” series – what the hell! Oops, I better be careful with what I say. Who knows who might be listening.
Here is what the author has to say in his preface – I have gathered together and explained in this book more than three hundred and fifty pictures, picked from the most curious, characteristic, and rare of those illustrating works on sorcery, magic, astrology, cheiromancy, cartomancy, and alchemy, including works in manuscript and incunabula form. The dates of the selected sources range from the Middle Ages to the eve of the nineteenth century.
I have placed my own collection under contribution, and have drawn largely upon the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal in Paris – which contains an unequalled store of occultist manuscripts – and upon many other libraries in France and beyond.
But I have not partaken in the pursual of two occultist items covered in this volume. Now on my “to do list”.