Orpheus - The Fisher. Comparative Studies in Orphic and Early Christian Cult Symbolism.
London: J. M. Watkins, 1921. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. xvii + 302 pp.+ 76 pp plates. Original bright blue cloth with gilt tile, author and rules to spine, 76 b/w plates. The scarce first edition of this important comparative study of the symbolism of pre-Christian religions (the "Orphic") of the title, and those of early Christianity. Robert Eisler (1882 – 1949) was an Austrian Jewish Biblical scholar, folklorist, and follower of Carl Jung. Eisler was known for his controversial theories on Jesus and attracted many critics including Gershom Scholem, although he is best remembered for his study on the psychology of human violence "Man into Wolf. An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism, and Lycanthropy." A former Assistant Director of the League of Nations Universities Interrelation Office in Paris, he was imprisoned in various concentration camps by the Nazis, before settling in the United Kingdom. His other writings include: Orphisch-Dionysische Mysteriengedanken in der christlichen Antike (1925), Das Rätzel des Vierten Evangeliums (1936), The Royal Art of Astrology (London 1946), and Man Into Wolf (1948). Cloth slightly darkened - particularly at upper edge and spine, lower edges and points a little rubbed, spine ends and corners bruised, a little chafing to cloth at spine ends. Pages lightly toned, comtemporary (1920s) NYC bookshop label on front pastedown, otherwise a tight and unmarked VG+ copy (protected by custom-made clear mylar cover). Item #6201