London, South Kensington
7 June 2010
BARRETT, Francis (fl.1780-1814). The Magus, or Celestial Intelligencer; being A Complete System of Occult Philosophy, a manuscript copy of the first edition (published by Lackington, Allen and Co, London, 1801), including 14 drawings (10 coloured) of heads of demons etc, and a number of other figures, concluding with a related text, 'Illustrations of the Black Art', 413 pages, 4to (f.1 reattached), roan-backed boards (worn).
'Composed in the Christian tradition, The Magus was a farrago of Renaissance alchemy and natural and talismatic magic that fitted contemporary Gothic taste ... The book's most startling feature was a set of gargoyle-like portraits of demons conjured up in ritual magic ceremonies' (ODNB). The present copy apparently dates from the mid-century, no doubt before the second edition of 1870.
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