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A. J. Pearce's 'Text-Book of Astrology' edition changes

 
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Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 436
Location: Europe

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject: A. J. Pearce's 'Text-Book of Astrology' edition changes Reply with quote

Since this is the Books forum at Skyscript, an astrology website with a strong collective interest in the history of the subject, I thought it might be of some relevance to occasionally post bibliographical notes upon a particular astrological work or author from the past. Not necessarily from the 17th century or earlier, since as far as the history of astrology is concerned, almost anything that is out of print today is a piece of history, and there are few works predating Dane Rudhyar's 'The Astrology of Personality' from 1936 that would be immediately familiar to most practising modern astrologers who do not also take a strong interest in the history of their craft.

To those who have already studied and investigated older astrological works from all eras in depth, these notes may be of relatively little originality, and might even seem to skate the surface of the subject at hand, but I hope there will be some value in them for some Skyscript members all the same.

I decided to commence with Alfred Pearce's 'Text-Book of Astrology' since I've been a fan of Pearce for quite a few years, and this work certainly holds an enduring fascination.

On the bibliographical side of considerations, there have been two distinct editions of this text-book, of which the second has been through four variant printings by major publishers.

The book as recently republished by the American Federation of Astrologers in 2006 was the fourth printing of the second edition, a direct reprint of the early AFA printing of 1970, but with the addition of a dust jacket.

The 1970 AFA impression was in effect the third printing of the second edition, and bears a close physical resemblance to the original printing of the second edition, which was published by Mackie in 1911. They are both bound in brown cloth with gilt to the spines, in my copies at least, though I cannot be entirely sure that the binding on my 1911 copy is original since it is a lot fresher than the contents and might be a later copy or replacement.

Regardless, it is notable that the binding on the 1970 printing is also about an inch taller and half an inch broader than that on the 1911 printing.

Internally, however, the 1970 printing is an exact facsimile of the 1911 one, except for the publisher name having been changed.

There was also a second printing of the second edition by yet another publisher, the National Astrological Library, some time around the 1950s. I have seen this for sale second-hand a number of times, but steered clear of it because it was clearly of inferior construction and durability, consisting basically of the splitting of the 1911 edition's contents into two softcover volumes, examples of which I have seen photographed have not aged well.

All three out-of-print impressions of the second edition are fairly scarce, but since the recent AFA reprint of 2006 the second-hand supply of the 1970 printing seems to have increased somewhat and come down in price accordingly. At one time, all printings were almost unobtainable on the used book market.

This brings us finally back to the first edition and how it differed from the second, which is the only one to have been printed in the past century.

The first edition appeared in only a single official printing, but in two separate volumes. The first volume appeared in 1879 and was subtitled 'Genethlialogy'. The second volume was announced, and orders for it were being taken, as early as 1880, during the life of Pearce's journal 'Urania'; but it only finally saw the light of day in print in 1889, ten years after the first volume. It is subtitled 'Mundane Astrology, Astro-Meteorology, Medical Astrology, Elections, and Horary Astrology'. Both volumes were published by Cousins and Co., London. The first volume runs to 286 pages plus a preface and index, and the second runs to 411 pages plus a preface and advertisements. Thus their combined length is about 697 pages, excluding the two prefaces.

Yet the length of the second edition published by Mackie in 1911, also within Pearce's life-time, is a mere 484 pages plus preface. And this was the source of all later printings, including the present AFA printing of 2006. So where did those extra 213 pages go?

Maurice McCann at one time had an excellent list of literary sources on horary and electional astrology up at his web-site which gave a large part of the answer. But let's be even more precise here and attempt a direct comparison of the first and second editions, chapter by chapter.

Where nothing has changed I shall make no comment. I shall note only the salient differences, in outline.

Firstly, it is as well to note that the internal structure of 'Books' and 'Chapters' has altered between the editions. Whereas in the first edition, Volume 1, on Genethlialogy, was divided into four 'Books', each of several chapters, in the second edition, Genethlialogy itself becomes 'Book 1' and runs to forty-one chapters. Overall, the main text of the Genethlialogy books of the first edition runs to 239 pages (being followed by the lengthy appendix) while that of the Genethlialogy book of the second edition runs to 257 pages (followed by a very short appendix). So the traffic has not been all one-way here. As I shall go on to show, cuts have been made in places and additions in others between the two editions in the Genethlialogy part of Pearce's overall work.

1. Substantial selective cuts are made from Book 1 Chapters 1 and 2 of the volume on Genethlialogy.

2. Book 1 Chapter III from the first edition, entitled 'Planetary Influence', has been axed for the second edition.

3. Book 1 Chapter IX from the first edition, 'Calculation of Nativities', has been substantially reworked in places, part-shortened and part-lengthened.

4. Book II Chapters IX and X from the first edition, on Uranus and Neptune, have both been substantially lengthened for the second edition.

5. Book III Chapter I from the first edition, 'On Forming a General Judgment on a Nativity', has been substantially shortened for the second edition, and also renamed 'On the Import of the Nativity'.

6. Book III Chapter V from the first edition, 'The Quality of Employment', has been renamed 'On the Vocation' for the second edition, with a page of anecdotal material added.

7.Book III Chapter VI from the first ediiton, 'Marriage', has been expanded with the addition of a further page of case studies in the second edition.

8. Book III Chapter VII from the first edition, 'Children', has been extended by more than a whole page for the second edition.

9. Book IV Chapter I from the first edition, 'On Primary Directions', has been slightly expanded for the second edition.

10. Book IV Chapter II from the first edition, 'Examples of Rules for Working Mundane Directions', has been reduced by a couple of pages in the second edition.

11. Book IV Chapter III from the first edition, 'On Rapt Aspects', has been axed for the second edition.

12. Book IV Chapter IV from the first edition, 'Zodiacal Directions', has been reduced for the second edition, with the omission of the section 'To Direct the Moon by Converse Motion in the Zodiac'.

13. Book IV Chapter V from the first edition, 'Examples of Rules for Computing Zodiacal Directions', has been reduced by a couple of pages for the second edition.

14. Book IV Chapter VI from the first edition, 'On Equating Arcs of Direction', has been slightly expanded in the second edition.

15. Book IV Chapter VII from the first edition, 'On Rectifying a Nativity', has been slightly expanded in the second edition.

16. For the second edition, a whole new Chapter, Chapter XXXVI, 'On Solar Revolutions', has been introduced, replacing a mere paragraph or two of Book IV Chapter VIII in the first edition.

17. Book IV Chapter VIII from the first edition, 'On Secondary Directions, Transits, etc.', which ran to 12 pages, has been split into three separate chapters for the second edition: 'On Secondary Directions' (Chapter XXXVII); 'On Lunations, Eclipses, and Progresses' (Chapter XXXVIII), and 'On Transits' (Chapter XXXIX).

18. For the second edition, a whole new chapter, 'On the Practical Uses of Astrology', has been added (Chapter XLI).

Next we come to the original Volume II of Pearce's work, running to 384 pages of main text before the tables. This must be compared with the remainder of the second edition covering the same territory, which consists of just pp. 265-443 inclusive, so only 178 pages. Clearly, this is where the major cuts must have been made, with a reduction of over half the original text of the volume, or 206 pages to be precise. So what was lost between the editions, apart from some of the tables at the back?

1. Book I (Mundane Astrology) Chapter III of the first edition, 'On the New Moon of the Year', had just one paragraph halved in length for the second edition.

2. Book I Chapter V of the first edition, 'On the Presignification of the Planet Saturn When Lord of the Year', has had its section on 'the presignification of Saturn according to the house or division of the heavens in which this great planet happens to be accidentally located, whether it be lord of the year or not' altogether chopped for the second edition.

3. The same holds true for the following chapters on Jupiter and Mars, and the later chapters on Venus and Mercury. The only concession to the house placement information is made in the chapter on the Sun, which is found between those on Mars and Venus: Book IV Chapter VIII in the first edition; Book II Chapter VIII in the second edition.

4. Book I Chapter XIV of the first edition, 'On the Presignification of the Planets, According to their Positions at Eclipses of the Sun and Moon', has been halved in size from eight to four pages for the second edition.

5. Book I Chapter XV of the first edition, 'Examples of Predictions Made from Recent Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, Solar Ingresses, and Transits of the Planets', has had its last study, on the total eclipse of the Moon at Cairo, October 4th, 1884, axed.

6. Book I Chapter XVI of the first edition, 'Mutual Conjunctions of the Major Planets', has been reduced by four pages from 11 to 7 between editions.

7. Book I Chapter XVIII of the first edition, 'On Forecasting Peace or War', running to three pages, has been axed completely for the second edition.

8. Book I Chapter XIX of the first edition, 'On the Prediction of Good or Bad Seasons, and Changes in Weather', has also been axed for the second edition.

9. Book II (Astro-Meteorology) Chapter I of the first edition, 'Introduction', has been reduced from eight pages to five for the second edition.

10. Book II Chapter II of the first edition, 'The Sun', has been reduced from eight pages to two (a reduction of three-quarters of its material) for the second edition.

11. Book II Chapter III of the first edition, 'The Moon', has been reduced from eleven pages to three (also a reduction of three-quarters) for the second edition.

12. Book II Chapter IV of the first edition, 'The Planet Jupiter', has been reduced from seven pages to two for the second edition.

13. Book II Chapter V of the first edition, 'The Planet Saturn', has been reduced from five pages to two and a half for the second edition.

14. Book II Chapter VI of the first edition, 'The Planet Mars', has been reduced from four pages to one and a half for the second edition.

15. Book II Chapter VII of the first edition, 'The Planet Venus', has been reduced from four pages to one and a half for the second edition.

16. Book II Chapter VIII of the first edition, 'The Planet Mercury', has been reduced from four pages to one and a half for the second edition.

17. Book II Chapter IX of the first edition, 'The Planet Uranus', has been reduced from nearly three pages to one and a half for the second edition.

18. Book II Chapter X of the first edition, 'The Planet Neptune', has been reduced from three and a half pages to one page for the second edition.

19. Book II Chapter XI of the first edition, 'The Mutual Conjunctions and Oppositions of the Planets', has been reduced from thirteen and a half pages to three pages for the second edition.

20. Book II Chapter XII of the first edition, 'Rain, Snow, Hail, and Atmospheric Electricity', running to eleven pages, has been axed for the second edition.

21. Book II Chapter XIII of the first edition, 'The Law of Storms', running to ten pages, has been axed for the second edition.

22. Book II Chapter XIV of the first edition, 'Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions', has been reduced from eighteen pages to eleven pages for the second edition.

23. Book II Chapter XV of the first edition, 'Meteors', running to five and a half pages, has been axed for the second edition.

24. Book II Chapter XVI of the first edition, 'How to Forecast the Variations of Weather', running to five and a half pages, has been axed for the second edition.

25. Book III (Medical Astrology) Chapter I of the first edition, 'Introduction', running to three pages, has been axed for the second edition.

26. Book III Chapters II ('Epidemics and Planetary Influence'), III ('Influenza'), IV ('Cholera'), V ('The Plague'), VI ('Typhoid Fever'), and VII ('Measles, Scarlatina and Smallpox'), collectively spanning 34 pages in the first edition, have been edited down into a single chapter bearing the name of the original Chapter II, 'Epidemics and Planetary Influence', running to just 15 pages, for the second edition.

[NB: bizarrely, there is no Book III Chapter VIII in the first edition although the pagination is continuous, while Chapter IX, 'Crisis in Disease', has survived the chop between editions.]

27. Book III Chapters X ('The Diagnosis of Disease') and XI ('The Prognosis of Disease'), collectively spanning 18 pages in the first edition, have been combined into a single chapter called 'Diagnosis and Prognosis of Disease', condensed down to a mere six pages, in the second edition, a reduction of two thirds of the original material.

28. Book III Chapter XII ('Therapeutics and Astrology') has been reduced only slightly between editions, from seven pages (spread over eight) to six.

29. Book IV (On Elections) Chapter I, 'Introduction', has been increased in length between editions, from 1 pages to 2.

30. Book IV Chapter II, 'On Lunar Influences and Elections', has been axed between editions.

31. Book IV Chapter III, 'Elections for Affairs Appertaining to the First Six Houses', has been reduced from nine pages to five pages between editions.

32. Book IV Chapter IV, 'Elections Relating to the Last Six Houses', has been reduced from seven pages to five pages between editions.

33. Book IV Chapters V, 'The Planetary Dignities', and VI, 'On "The Part of Fortune"', running to about eleven pages spread across twelve in the first edition, have been compressed into a single chapter called 'The Planetary Dignities' of just eight pages for the second edition.

34. Book V, 'Horary Astrology', comprising pp. 339-384 of Volume II of the first edition, has been entirely (and infamously) axed for the second edition.

For anyone who didn't already appreciate it, the reason why Maurice McCann always referred to the first edition of Pearce's Text-Book in his list of sources on horary and electional astrology should now be apparent. As a matter of fact, I first encountered Maurice when we were both bidding on a first edition set of Pearce's Text-Book on eBay early in 2006. The bidding reached $300. When I realised who was bidding against me, I desisted from further participation in the auction. I judged that he was more worthy of these books than I was, in view of his technical expertise in and long history of study of the subject matter. I know I made the right decision. It took a few years for me to find other copies, piecemeal (first a Volume I that needed complete rebinding; then eventually a Volume II), but I think where the study of historical astrology is concerned, it is important for the rare material to go where it is going to be put to the best use first.

Clearly, though, it is not only horary and electional that suffered from the cuts between editions, with the sections on mundane and astro-meteorology and medical astrology also being very heavily cut. At the risk of anachronism, it is hard not to judge that Pearce's Text-Book was 'dumbed down' between editions, with most of the basic material from the original Volume I surviving (except for the Rapt Aspects chapter being lost, and a few other minor cuts), coverage of Uranus and Neptune being expanded, and most of the more specialised contents of the original Volume II being heavily truncated between editions.

Just this summer, for the first time since that auction back in 2006, another first edition of Pearce's Text-Book (both volumes) appeared on eBay. I bought it, which means I now have a spare set to sell or exchange on to a worthy destination in due course. Since I was discussing the work with Robert Hand last month and he expressed great interest, I might offer it to him first, but should he decline, it would be open to any worthy destinee among the general membership of Skyscript.

It seems highly likely that a print-on-demand reprint of the first edition will eventually appear. But until then, the original printings from 1879 and 1889 are the only source. Incidentally, I noticed in an issue of 'Coming Events' from 1899 that both volumes of the first edition were already then described as 'very scarce'.

Personally I believe a worthy project could be the preparation of a critical edition of Pearce's Text-Book, centered on the full first edition, but with all the additional material added for the second edition also included, and the losses highlighted.
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Andrew Bevan



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 4676
Location: Oslo, Norway

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sent Olivia Barclay a copy of the 2nd edition as a gift in the summer of 1988. Anyone who corresponded with Olivia would immediately recognize the fire, enthusiastism, humour and also bluntness of her writing. Here is a subtract from her letter of 23 July 1988 with her commentary on Pearce, which is interesting and might encourage others to look up the various passages:

Quote:
Very late at night, 23.07.-88

Very many thanks for Alfred Pearce's "Text Book of Astrology" which was a complete surprise - fascinating. You are right, I do find it interesting. It is where I came in, when I was about nineteen, I read some similar book about the more accurate translations from the Bible and still have my own scribblings in the Bible. I never found astrology by reading newspaper columns as Charles Harvey seems to think everyone does.

Pearce has some fascinating observations, some of which are completely inaccurate - eg. the quote from Job you mention (Ch.38 verse 7) on pg 83 has no connection that I can find with the 6th day of Creation!?
It is a though he has read some really interesting books - I love the information on the planetary names and meanings of the words - like Venus being Ash Taroth - And Moon the star of slumber, most of all that the Moon is Juno (wife of Jupiter) because I have lately been impressed with the sympathy between those two - (fig. with the Moon sitting on right shoulder of the cross in the Jupiter glyph), and knew the Moon was anciently connected with Sagittarius.

He got all that interesting information from some book, and then he got his purely astrological information elsewhere - (eg. from someone who got it from Lilly) and immediately his English grammar alters into the imperative (which a lot of latin was in - and which Coley uses with the aphorisms, which makes them so tiresome to read) eg. "If the Moon BE dignified..." He completely changes his attitude and contradicts himself, depending on which books he is quoting from, from dispising horary as Arabian, to defending it when Flamsteed us it! It's all fascinating.

As for his mention of Lilly on pg 223, he is assuming Zadkiel's version is Lilly, I think.

I was intrgued to find mention of James Melville on pg 24 because he is an ancestor of mine.

I was thrilled to read about Argo pg 56. I wonder if it is the larger-than-for-humans boat the Egyptians have found - 4000 years old.

I was delighted with Varley's descriptions of the signs pg 60-61 and think that the book is worth buying for that alone - & then Pearce rejects them!

Of course he is quite lunatic on page 146 about fortuna; Wilson always is. But one can forgive Pearce, it's so much more interesting than modern book and I love that stuff about the Hindu Gods.

So I appreciate the book and thank you again for it. I sat up till 2 a.m. last night reading it and have much more study on it to do yet - of course.

No need to take her comments on Charles Harvey litterally?
As I recall, she used to do that to us all. Wink
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pearce is my favorite 19th century astrologer. He is often referred to as Zadkiel II but he was actually the third. Between the death of Richard Morrison, the first Zadkiel and Pearce's assuming the name, there was another short lived stint by an individual who died within a year or so of being Zadkiel.

He is a lot closer to a traditional astrologer than his contemporary and rival, Alan Leo. I pulled out my 1970 reprint and looked up horary astrology. Pearce said:


Quote:
Horary astrology is a system of divination by means of the celestial bodies, their relative positions and mutual configurations; the figure of the heavens being cast for the moment of consultation, and the question being propounded.

In my "Science of the stars" the student who may wish to investigate horary astrology will find a sufficient description of it. As applied to questions it is not really worth serious consideration, except in cases of the deepest anxiety and perturbation of mind on the part of the querent, and when the horary figure harmonises with the horoscope of the querent, and when it also is in accord with the primary directions, falling due at the time, in his nativity


This does not sound like a man who devoted a great deal of space to the topic in an earlier edition. I wonder why he changed his mind?

Tom
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Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 436
Location: Europe

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew,

How interesting to have that correspondence from the late Olivia Barclay. She is something of a legend in British (and horary, generally) astrological circles, and in quite a real sense a division between the 'have' (met her) and 'have not' (met her)s says a lot about our relative lengths of experience in the study of traditional forms of astrology. [I humbly declare myself in the latter category!]

She does sound like a very strong and interesting personality!

Tom, my abiding impression from the details I've given in my first post in this strand is that the main reasons for the cuts in the second edition were publisher-driven by a directive to compress what had been an extensive two-volume work into a single volume. Every part of the original Volume II was radically reduced for the second edition, with astro-meteorology and mundane, both subjects dear to Pearce, taking very savage cuts, while poor old horary was completely eliminated. At least, as Pearce acknowledges, it survived in the second edition of the Science of the Stars. I think that one way of looking at his statement would be simply that it was a rather contrived excuse for the publisher-directive-driven decision to cut horary out of the second edition. Faced with a choice between eliminating horary or making still deeper cuts to the other parts of the volume, he probably thought it was the lesser of various evils!

Just my hypothesis anyway!

Philip
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OsirisRisen



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 8

Posted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A copy of "The science of the stars" by Alfred John Pearce can be downloaded for free from google books at the following link.

http://books.google.com/books?id=fDkDAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+science+of+the+stars&hl=en&ei=w0SMTKj_FIT78AaKscXvCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

It has Mr. Pearce's writings on how to do horary.
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