The Gipsy Dream Book and Complete Fortune Teller with Napoleon's Oraculum. Anonymous.
The Gipsy Dream Book and Complete Fortune Teller with Napoleon's Oraculum

The Gipsy Dream Book and Complete Fortune Teller with Napoleon's Oraculum

Good. Item #6162

Philadelphia: Royal Publishing Co., [n.d., presumed 1880-1910]. Octavo; 57pp + 7pp of publisher's prospectuses.

Two-color paper wraps with illustrated cover showing a dreamer visited by spiritual guardians and visions. Front and back covers both torn, with 2" segment missing from upper right corner of back.

A much reprinted and much plagiarized guide to the domestic occult, offered in the late 19th century by multiple publishers under varying titles pushing slightly different angles, from witches to "old wise women" to lottery numbers. Contents include a dream decoder, lotto recommendations, and a palmistry how-to.

This particular version from the Royal Publishing Company is perhaps most interesting for its internal advertising. The inside front cover proposes "The Marriage Guide" by Michael Ryan, M.D. The inside back cover pushes the same topic up several notches, proposing the famous pseudo-work, "Aristotle's Masterpiece & Book of Nature: An Illustrated Marriage Guide for Married Persons and Those About to Marry Containing Everything Concerning the Physiology and Relations of the Sexual System." Leopold Bloom fingered a copy of that in "Ulysses" for inspiration.

Popular culture at its most vulgar and most respectable, somehow simultaneously.

Price: $75.00

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