Works of Jacob Behmen, the Teutonic Theosopher. Translated from the German by William Law. [with] Muses, Charles A. Dionysius Andreas Freher. An Inquiry into The Work of A Fundamental Contributor to the Philosophic Tradition of Jacob Boehme

Böhme Jacob

Published by London [and] New York M. Richardson [et al.], 1764-81 [and] 1951
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4 volumes. First Edition of this highly significant English version of the complete works of Jacob Böhme, offered with a 252 pp. typescript on thin onion paper. With label: "Charles A. Muses/ 37-16 92nd street/ Jackson Heights, L.I., NY" pasted on first leaf. Additions and annotations in Muses' hand in brown ink throughout. With engraved frontispiece portrait of Böhme, and 26 plates, including 2 that are hand-coloured, 3 with multiple overlays, and 1 folding plate with overlay. 4to (300 x 220 mm), bound in recent brown sprinkled calf, flat spines divided into six compartments, red and green leather title-labels, gilt-tooled occult symbols of blazing suns in each compartment, marbled paper over boards. The typescript 280 x 220 mm, in contemporary binder of black cloth over heavy boards. First Edition of this highly significant English version of the complete works of Jacob Böhme, and the first to issue the extraordinary occult engravings with multiple overlays. The first complete English edition is drawn from the seventeenth-century editions with the language modernized and the various works gathered into one translation and printing. According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, Böhme's writings exerted an impact not only on religious thinkers, such as George Fox, Antoine Bourgignon, and Philip Jacob Spener, but also on philosophers, such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bergson, Heidegger, Whitehead, Carl Jung and Albert Schweitzer. Recent research has established a new connection between Böhme and William Blake. In Kevin Fischer's Converse in the Spirit: William Blake, Jacob Boehem, and the Creative Spirit, (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2004), the influences exerted by Böhme on Blake are highlighted at length. They both possessed radical and unorthodox views of the spiritual world, and there are a great many similarities to be found in their published works. In the Exhibition in 2000 at the Tate Museum, London, the curators Robin Hamlyn and Michael Phillips included four images from this Law Böhme edition. Hamlyn writes about Böhme's influence on Blake: "Blake described him as a 'divinely inspired man' and from him he learnt the importance of imagination… Blake also said that the tables in his 'Works' were 'very beautiful' and Michelangelo could not 'have done better'" (Hamlyn, William Blake, p. 186). The multiple overlay plates are astonishing in their conception and execution. To describe just one example, "Table One" employs no less than ten overlays, beginning with a view of the Constellations signified by their respective astrological symbol. Moving down from the stars to the next overlay is the Earth and Sky; descending further one opens more flaps to discover the enlightened Woman holding a sceptre, standing in a garden; then below her is a reversed view of Man enlightened by the Senses, Reason, and the Astral Mind. Böhme's writings first appeared in English versions between 1644 and 1663. "Thus Böhme was first discovered in England, where he had a wide and varied influence, most clearly among the Quakers. He had a strong impact on German Romantic thought and later gained a position of eminence in post-Kantian idealism, in large measure through the French translations of Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803). Böhme had also had a strong and enduring influence on Russian writers" (DSB II, 224). "Milton, without any doubt, had read the German mystic's account of the eternal war between the Light Principle and the Dark Principle, of the fall of Lucifer, of the loss of Paradise, and of the return of man in Christ to Paradise, and there are many passages which look decidedly like germinations from the seed which Böhme sowed" (Jones, p. 234). Conceived by William Law (1686-1761), tutor to Edward Gibbon's father and spiritual adviser to the Westley's, this edition was seen through the press by G. Ward and T. Langcake. De Quincey gave a set to Coleridge, whose very heavily annotated copy is now in the British Libr. Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: Works of Jacob Behmen, the Teutonic ...
Publisher: London [and] New York M. Richardson [et al.], 1764-81 [and] 1951

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