One of my friends posted some pics of books from Editions du Monolithe on Facebook, and it intrigued me enough to check them out. I ordered three books from them. They had some trouble with PayPal ordering, but they managed to work that out and even sent me a fourth book for my troubles.
So, what do we have here? We have four slim paperbacks in French that serve as translations or transcriptions of various grimoires. They’re largely no-frills productions with not a lot of explanatory text, although those based on manuscripts tend to reprint facsimiles of these documents in context.
First, we have the Verus Jesuitarum Libellus, or the “True Little Book of the Jesuits,” as transcribed by the nineteenth-century occultist Frederick G. Irwin, whose Book of Magic was recently released by Caduceus. This work is mentioned in Waite’s Book of Ceremonial Magic, and the original can be found at the Cleveland Public Library.
We also have another two works formerly at the Arsenal Library, and now at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The first includes the text of Arsenal MS. 2345, a work on talismans of planetary magic, which shows parallels between the diagrams and other manuscripts. The second was Arsenal MS. 2494, which was released by Caduceus Books as The Grimoire to Conjure the Spirit of the Place.
My favorite, however, is their edition of the Magia Ordinis. This is a magical work that appears attributed to various authors – Michael Scot, Kornreuther, Herpentil – back to the sixteenth century. This one gives us not only the text, but a stunning full-color reproduction of an illustrated manuscript of the work, apparently from a private collection. It’s a nice addition to my library.
This might seem to be a source of limited usefulness to my readers who aren’t able to read French, but it might help to fill in some gaps in the collections of more avid grimoire readers.