The Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Salomonis)
This book, translated and edited by the occultist Samuel Liddell Mathers (1854-1918) and published in 1889, introduced to Victorian England an important work of Renaissance esoterica. Purportedly the deathbed testament of King Solomon to his son, distilling all the angelic wisdom he received in his lifetime, it provided its readers with detailed instructions in conjuring, divining and summoning God's power to work 'experiments', or spells. For Mathers, it represented 'the fountain-head and storehouse of Qabalistical Magic' and formed a central part of his efforts to lend scholarly respectability to occult research. Mathers edited the text using available manuscripts at the British Museum, and it continues to offer authoritative and fascinating insight into both Renaissance occultism and its Victorian revival. Features of this edition include introductions from three distinct manuscripts, a table of the planetary hours and their magical names, and spells for producing invisibility, creating magic carpets and identifying thieves.