Thirteenth Edition. Very Good / Very Good. Item #4915
London: C.S. Arnold, 1826. Thirteenth Edition. Octavo (9" x 5.5"); xxxiv, [65pp]. Fold-out chart at front. Pink paper-covered boards with octagonal title label to front. Covers bumped at corners and rubbed along edges, with some soiling/smudging and a few waterspots. Half-inch tear to fold-out in margin near gutter, not involving illustration. A few marginal checks in pencil through oracle text. Binding is sound.
Divinatory text claimed to have been discovered in a mummy's tomb during a French expedition in Egypt in 1801 and translated at Napoleon's request, then found among his personal effects left behind after his defeat at the Battle of Leipzig. But while the Rosetta Stone was found in 1799, Champollion's breakthrough transliteration of hieroglyphics did not come until 1822 (perhaps not coincidentally the same year the Oraculum first appeared in print), and it was later still before they could be read and translated confidently. This copy from the estate of author, journalist, language columnist, and former Nixon speechwriter William Safire. [Kies 729].