London: Printed for Lackington, Allen, and Co., 1801.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #003863
Two parts in one volume. London: Printed for Lackington, Allen, and Co., 1801. 4to (261 x 212 mm). xv , 175 ; 198, 2 pp., including half-title with imprint 'Knight and Compton, printers', engraved frontispiece portrait of author printed on strong paper, separate title-page to each part, section titles, publisher's advert leaf bound at end and 22 engraved plates, of which 5 hand-coloured and one folding. Printed on whove paper with '1801' watermark. Bound in later simple card boards, spine with red lettering piece (cover little dust-soiled and browned, upper joint repaired, lower corners bumped and scuffed). Light browning of text and plates (title-page a bit stronger), minor spotting in places, pale dampstaining of frontispiece and a few plates and text leaves mostly at corners; brown stain at gutter of about 10 leaves at beginning; small hole near lower corner of leaf F1 not affecting text; plate facing p. 42 in part II with tear at gutter not affecting image, long tear to plate facing p. 46 of part II repaired on verso; final advert leaf soiled. Provenance: King Lawrence Parker (bookplate to front pastedown). Still very good copy, collated and complete. ----
RARE FIRST EDITION of Barrett's classics of occult philosophy. This is the true first edition and not the reprint of c. 1875 with facsimile title-page and modern 's' types instead of the medial 's' used in the setting of the original issue. Our copy includes the publisher's advertisement leaf lacking in most copies and with Cassiel, angel of Saturday, hand-coloured.
"The Magus did offer the public a fairly complete occult manual, which taught the principles of arithmology and correspondences, planetary and Kabbalistic magic, and scrying technique. A series of potted biographies of 'great magicians' completed the work. There was stuff aplenty for the aspiring magi, as well as for the gothic novelists who were a part of the same reaction against classicism and pure reason" (Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment, p 119). The book includes 4 fascinating hand-coloured plates with portraits of demons.
The book has separate title-pages: The true secret of the philosophers' stone: p.; The magus; or, Celestial intelligencer: p.; The magus; or Celestial intelligencer, book II. Part I. Containing magnetism, and cabalistical magic: p. , second count; The cabala; or, The sacred mysteries of ceremonial magic illustrated: p.; On the particular composition of the magical circle ... book II, part III: p. ; The magic and philosophy of Trithemius of Spanheim: containing his book of secret things ... part IV: p. ; Biographia antiqua; or, An account of the lives and writings of the ancient and modern magi, cabalists, and philosophers: p. .
Suggested reading: Priddle, Robert A. More cunning than folk: an analysis of Francis Barrett's The Magus as indicative of a transitional period of English magic. Master thesis, The Univ. of Ottawa, 2012, 108 pp. - Visit our website to see more images!
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