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The Book of Thoth: (Egyptian Tarot) Hardcover – Facsimile, September 22, 2017
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"Aleister Crowley published his masterpiece on the Tarot, The Book of Thoth, in 1944. It was produced in an exquisitely printed, limited, numbered, and signed edition of 200 copies that has been a treasured collector’s edition since. Its eight color plates of several cards were hand-pasted in.
In 1969, Samuel Weiser, Inc. published a well-executed second edition reprint of the 1944 book. A quality hardcover with a lovely book jacket and full-color illustrations as per Crowley’s choices, it was reprinted several times until replaced by the ubiquitous trade paperback in the early 1970s, in print ever since.
This year, in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Weiser Books has done it again. They have reissued a brand new high quality hardcover that is a true third edition. First, they worked with O.T.O. on replacing the original artwork (color and black-and-white) with color-corrected photos and scans of the original paintings in the Warburg Institute painted by Frieda Lady Harris. They also reproduced the beloved 1969 jacket, with more generous inside flaps and better paper. As a real treat, the book includes high quality color endpapers of the Egyptian design that was printed on the cover of Crowley’s 1944 edition. The text paper used in the book is a quality coated art paper which highlights the color plates as well as the halftones of the entire deck.
No words are needed to describe the importance of this book in Crowley’s literary corpus. Weiser Books has done it full justice. And for $60.00, you can’t go wrong." --James Wasserman, author of the original Thoth Tarot pamphlet insert, "Instructions for Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot Deck," and Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary
"This edition of The Book of Thoth, Crowley’s masterpiece on the Tarot, is as well-constructed and weighty as its subject matter, with full-color images as vivid as the original. It is an exceptional edition of a controversial and critical work in the history of modern Tarot that eloquently unravels the depths of this esoteric subject." --Colin Campbell, author of Of the Arte Goetia, The Magic Seal of Dr. John Dee, and A Concordance to the Holy Books of Thelema
"If any book in the world deserves to be enshrined in hardcover immortality it is Aleister Crowley's magnum opus and magical time-capsule, The Book of Thoth. The Weiser facsimile edition is breathtakingly magnificent." --Lon Milo DuQuette, author of Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot
About the Author
Aleister Crowley is one of the most renowned, controversial, and remarkable figures to emerge from the Western Occult Revival era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His tradition lives on as his books remain in print and popular, while the esoteric school he founded―Ordo Templi Orientis, or O.T.O.―continues as a going concern today, with lodges to be found around the world.
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As stated in the copyright page, "This facsimile edition published in 2017 by Weiser Books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser." The first edition of this book was published in 1969 by Kashmarin Press/Shambala in a limited hardcover edition. Then, subsequently, in the same year by Samuel Weiser, the difference being was colored plates were added.
This edition is much high in its quality, with the paper being a thick and glossy. All original color plates are present. Boards are the same color as the original Weiser, as well the dust jacket cover, with the exception of the binding having a slightly different design. Outside of that, the overall size is slightly smaller than the original.
The book itself is very nicely put together, and a great piece, especially if you don't have a version of it. If you have the paperback or an older hardcover edition, this is not a must have, but would be primarily for collectible sake, as there is nothing new to this edition. I appreciate the homage they paid to Crowley and this book, and even to the original company, Samuel Weiser, however, nothing in this book that is original to this edition makes it just a nice, but expensive, version. Almost as much as some of the original hardcover editions. If it were a limited edition or something to that effect, it would at least prove to be a collectible edition, but that is not the case here.
So in sum, its a great edition, and the book itself is in any edition is a must read, however, this particular edition is purely for collectible purposes.
I've never seen a copy of the original hardcover so I can't comment on authenticity, but I will say this edition is beautifully printed & bound with some of the nicest paper I have seen in any book. The images that other users have uploaded do it justice.
Content-wise it is exactly the same as the paperback, which I also have. The only difference is that for this edition they re-photograped the images of all the cards from the original paintings. This is a huge improvement as some of the black & white images in the paperback don't quite come through in detail. Obviously the paintings were meant to be seen in color, but the b&w images in this book are immaculately clear and perfect for reference if you don't happen to have a deck on hand. Plus, some of them are quite nice in b&w. There are eight color plates, a few of which are even more breathtaking than their respective embodiments as printed cards.
If you hold this book in high regards then chances are you are going to want this. If you're new to the book or the cards then you'd be wiser to buy the paperback, unless money is no object.