The Philosophical Merlin: Available Now on Amazon
The second of the second slew of grimoire editions is finally here; the Philosophical Merlin, produced originally in 1822 in what was then the rising British Empire.
The book(let) itself was mostly overlooked in its time period, overshadowed by numerous French cycle grimoires (The Black Pullet comes from the same time period) and thus attempted to market itself by claiming Napoleonic lineage. While this is likely untrue, and it was of primordial British manufacture, I did note its similarity to the I-Ching and other systems from the East (which were being contacted by the British at the time) and in this manner it is hardly much different from the Turkish and Arabic systems encountered by the expanding French empire around the same time.
Its content is not so much that of a standard western folk magick grimoire, nor an abrahamized treatise of kaballah or similar systems derived thereof, so much as a divinatory manuscript with references to the celestial and to standard horoscopes and astrology. Through the use of this system, the reader is able to denote their general nativity under this selfsame system and proceed with divining their possible future insofar as marital bliss, power, wealth, and possible dangers to their health are concerned.
It should be duly noted that at the time of manufacture, the average literate Englishman was of at least middle class stock, with most of the lower class being functionally illiterate to a great degree; the fixation on wealth, travel, and so forth, present in this work, is a sign of the time and place in which it was made. It also fixates upon the concept of the rites of Venus, Venus here representing sexuality and lust, and makes numerous cryptic references to the acts of Venus here, which is merely the polite, upper class British manner of saying "sexual intercourse" in the early 19th century.
The only other edition present anywhere on the web is a poorly made scan of the original 1822 edition with no additional notes or introduction to explain the text and its context in history, and which has retained all errors in the original material; my own edition is also half the price of this other cheaply produced crap.