On the Shelf Review – A Complete Book of Magic Science Part 3

Alan Thorogood posted a comment on the last section of the review of the Hockley book.  He had caught something that I missed from The Rosicrucian Seer – a letter to his friend Francis G. Irwin written on June 18, 1874.  In it, Hockley is shedding some light on some entries in a book catalog that Irwin has sent him, including the following:

‘The Complete Book of Magic Science is I presume from its title one of my particular babes for at Denley’s suggestion I made up the MS from other sources & made him several copies one after another.’

Alan’s got some material on his post that I urge you to read.  What strikes me as interesting from the above was that the book seems to have been a mass-produced – if you can call a handwritten manuscript such – grimoire compiled by Hockley in the early 19th century.  This means that this is likely the origin of Turiel as well.  Perhaps the variations between the two works are representative of errors – deliberate or accidental – made by Hockley or subsequent copiers.

This does somewhat undercut a point Bergman made in his introduction:

The fact that [Hockley] chose to make a second copy of the ‘Complete Book of Magic Science’ does, however, lend weight to the argument that he was convinced of its authenticity, as it seems hardly likely that Hockley would have put the enormous effort – probably entailing weeks of labor – into making two copies of a text about which he harbored any doubts.

In fact, it would seem that Hockley created the manuscript from other sources, that the copies were made as a money-making venture, and that he might not have even thought enough of the bookto save one for himself.

Published in: on July 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. This hypothesis does explain some of the things that just weren’t adding up to me regarding the differences between CBOMS and Turiel, particularly regarding the material borrowed from Scot. If CBOMS was the more perfect copy then how are the additions of the knife and hazel rod also from Scot explained? If both ms. were by Hockley working from a basic template, making a few deviations according to his fancy, then this would seem to me a plausible way of explaining the confusing discrepancies between the two texts.

  2. […] says that it was mentioned in Francis Barrett’s The Magus from 1801, which would contradict Hockley’s assertion that he assembled the book himself.  I’ve yet to find the title in Barrett, though perhaps it’s buried in there […]

  3. […] compiled Complete Book of Magic Science from the nineteenth century (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of my review of the latter). Stratton-Kent states in the introduction at the start that […]

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