MYSTERIES OF ASTROLOGY, WONDERS OF MAGIC - Roback, 1st 1854 MAGICK NECROMANCY
THE MYSTERIES OF ASTROLOGY AND THE WONDERS OF MAGIC: Including a History of the Rise and Progress of Astrology, and the Various Branches of Necromancy; Together with Valuable Directions and Suggestions Relative to the Casting of Nativities, and Predictions by Geomancy, Chiromancy, Physiognomy, Etc. Also, Hightly Interesting Narratives, Anecdotes, Etc Illustrative of the Marvels of Witchcraft, Spiritual Phenomena, and the Results of Supernatural Influence.
Book Details + Condition: First (American) edition from 1854 (Boston), published in London of the same year. By Dr. C.W. Roback. Illustrated with portrait frontispiece, charts, and drawings. Brown blindstamped cloth covered boards, front board stamped with gilt image "Dr. Roback's Family Summer Residence, Sweden". All edges gilt. Spine lettered and decorated in gilt. 236 pages + contents at rear, and one page author's advertisements at rear. "Dr." C.W. Roback (A Swede whose true name was Carl Johan Nilsson, 1811-1867), was an eccentric swindler and medicine quack. He fled (was chased out of) his native country and arrived in America, where he advertised himself as a practicing astrologer and oracle, traveling the country selling his concoctions and treatments. This work is his magnum opus, intended to further his fame. The author begins the book with a heavily sanitized "autobiography"; he studied astrology and the occult, before settling in America, where he divided his time between Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. The first half of the book is largely devoted to fortune-telling by chiromancy, the use of nativities, geomancy, physiognomy etc. It also includes content on Medical Herbs, and "The Famous Elixir of Life." The second half is a collection of "Narratives and Anecdotes in Relation to Witchcraft, Magic, Apparitions, Visions, Presentiments and other Supernatural Phenomena, with tales of Dr. John Dee, Hopkins the Witchfinder, etc. The book closes with advertisements for the good Doctor Roback's services - he advertises "Verbal Consultations" and "Nativities Accurately calculated and read in full, according to the Planets and Celestial Signs that rule the human frame and determine the fates and fortunes of both sexes" as well as "Nativities by Geomancy." An eccentric and fascinating work by a practitioner of all the esoteric arts - and quackery as well. Tight binding; rubbed edges and corners; shelf wear to boards; text is clean and unmarked, save owners names on front blank endpaper, periodic smudges, and one page with ink notes.