Dee, John. A TRUE & FAITHFUL RELATION OF WHAT PASSED FOR MANY YEERS BETWEEN DR. JOHN DEE (A Mathematician of Great Fame in Q. Eliz. And King James Their Reignes) AND SOME SPIRITS. Glasgow/Portmeirion: Antonine Publishing/Golden Dragon Press, 1974. Reprint. Hardcover. Small folio. Facsimile of the original edition of 1659. Bound in cloth with custom slipcase. Limited to only 1000 copies.
Book is in very good condition with a price clipped dust jacket and some toning, slipcase is in very good condition with some shelfwear and toning as is normal with this edition. Overall a very good copy of this interesting and sought after title.
About ten years after Dee’s death, the antiquarian Robert Cotton purchased land around Dee’s house and began digging in search of papers and artifacts. He discovered several manuscripts, mainly records of Dee’s angelic communications. Cotton’s son gave these manuscripts to the scholar Meric Casaubon, who published them in 1659, together with a long introduction critical of their author, as A True & Faithful Relation, etc. As the first public revelation of Dee’s spiritual conferences, the book was extremely popular and sold quickly. Casaubon, who believed in the reality of spirits, argued in his introduction that Dee was acting as the unwitting tool of evil spirits when he believed he was communicating with angels. This book is largely responsible for the image, prevalent for the following two and a half centuries, of Dee as a dupe and a deluded fanatic. Around the same time the True and Faithful Relation was published, members of the Rosicrucian movement claimed Dee as one of their number. There is doubt, however, that an organized Rosicrucian movement existed during Dee’s lifetime, and there is no evidence that he ever belonged to any secret fraternity. Dee’s reputation as a magician and the vivid story of his association with Edward Kelley have made him a seemingly irresistible figure to post 19th century magicians. Queen Elizabeth I used him as her court astronomer on a number of occasions not because he practiced the dark arts, but because he was a deeply religious and learned man whom she trusted.