The Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic And East Indian Occultism and The Book of Secret Hindu, Ceremonial, And Talismanic Magic. In One Volume. L. W. DE LAURENCE, aka Lauron William de Laurence.
The Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic And East Indian Occultism and The Book of Secret Hindu, Ceremonial, And Talismanic Magic. In One Volume.

The Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic And East Indian Occultism and The Book of Secret Hindu, Ceremonial, And Talismanic Magic. In One Volume.

Chicago, IL: The de Laurence Company, Inc., Copyright date 1939 (actually 1970s?). Fourteenth Edition. Hardcover. Large Quarto. (8 x 11 inches) 636 pp. Maroon faux leather with gilt title, etc. to cover and spine, frontis photo portrait of L. W. de Laurence. Illustrated. A massive book 'by' Lauron William de Laurence (1868 - 1936), renowned book pirate, plagiarist, and publisher of occult literature. De Laurence was notorious for taking other people's works and reissuing them under his own name (sometimes re-titling them in the process). Despite his rogueish eccentricities de Laurence played an important part in the occult history of the USA: he was a pioneer in selling occult books and supplies by mail order, and the cheap "Pow Wow" books and other books of simple magic which he published were surprisingly well received, and he is quite revered in some quarters. The title of this particular volume says 'Hindu' and 'East Indian' but in fact it is largely a grimoire of Western ritual magic, taken from a variety of sources including Francis Barrett's Magus, the works of Agrippa et al. Its odd title and genesis aside, it was probably one of the few works that was widely used for actual magical practice in the USA in the middle twentieth century. De Laurence had a typically eccentric attitude when it came to identifying editions of his books: in some cases he would reprint them endlessly over decades without changing copyright data, in others - such as this - he overstated the number of editions that there had been, presumably to make the book sound more popular. Sadly no-one knows how many editions there were between the first and the "fourteenth" but it is unlikely to have been more than a couple, although there may have been numerous printings. Similarly he was not accurate when it came to identifying the year of publication: whilst this copy bears copyright dates of 1915 / 1939 it is most probably more recent, perhaps even from the 1970s. A hint of light wear to the covers, which are a little rubbed at the upper hinge, edges dusty, small bookseller's label on front free endpaper. Otherwise a tight, clean, VG+ copy (no dust jacket was issued as such, although copies were sent out with a plain paper protective wrapper which is not present with this copy). Item #62090

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