Oracles Behind the Veil:

The Key to the Tarot

A Strange Journey

The previous page showed the advertisement for The Key to the Tarot: Oracles Behind the Veil, by Dr. L.W. de Laurence. It is, or should be, common knowledge that this book is AE Waite's Pictorial Key to the Tarot word for word! (Obsessive-compulsives note: I haven't done a word by word analysis of the books, but from random samplings, I feel okey-dokey about making the previous statement.) This is the culprit:

And here's the frontpiece:

Very nice picture. Waite had one of those Great Master of the Mysteries get-ups also.

The fun part is this next illustration:

Our publisher cares about his copyright. He did not care about Waite's copyright or Pixie Smith's copyright or several other author's.

Now, here's a sample illustration from the book:

Very colorful. I could almost find five colors in this. Almost. (I hope no one accuses me of having any ulterior motives in my selection of illustrations from the de Laurence matter. Really, they just happened!)

Here's a few more illustrations:

The Magician, Priestess, and Empress are the first three cards in the Inner Tradition section of de Laurence's and Waite's book. The Fool follows Judgement (it's that Shin-thing). The first three cards are the only ones with extra colors. From the Emperor onwards, it's just pink and yellow. Now, I'm entertaining the theory that James Wardle himself did the coloration on the three cards (did he add the pink to all the others too?). But something about that isn't quite sitting right with me about that. At my crabbiest, I'll entertain the notion that the yellow highlights and the pink skin are original, the rest being later add-ins (even though in the Empress, where the blue ground meets the yellow wheat there is some green tipping - and we all know that blue and yellow make green! And so why didn't the roses over the Magician get colored red?!) Even for Wardle, the additional color is too precisely applied. I, of course, would be interested in hearing from others who have copies of this book so we can compare illustrations.

The paper in this version is unique. It is the only instance in my four versions of a glossy paper. It is very white.

BUT, there's a strangeness going on here. When I bought James Wardle's collection, there were four copies of this book in it. All had different colored covers, though this green one is the only volume to list Oracles Behind the Veil on the cover. I was very close to getting rid of the duplicates when I looked at them closer. They are all subtly different. For the sake of argument and the thrill of naming, I'll call this green version de Laurence A.

Move on to the next page to get the next version.