The Incorrigible Reprobate of Twentieth Century Publishing
August 16, 2014 6:26 PM   Subscribe

L. W. De Laurence has been called "the incorrigible reprobate of twentieth century publishing" but his extensive and well-written catalog, and the books he offered on subjects ranging from mind-control to Hindoo magic, had an immense influence over American voodoo and hoodoo, as well as Jamaican obeah. The general hatred for De Laurence seems to stem primarily from his plagiarizing of magic-related texts by other famous authors. While this sort of act was frowned upon, at the time that he was operating it was all perfectly legal; the only thing he did that was not, was the actual selling of occult products by mail. Carolyn Morrow Long's book Spiritual Merchants contains excerpts from the trial. The lawsuit didn't seem to stop the De Laurence company, however. They continued going strong for many years, even outlasting the companies that manufactured most of their original perfumes and incenses. The De Laurence Company is still in business but no longer produces the fancy catalog and appears to have turned its 21st century focus toward jewelry making.
posted by Peregrine Pickle (3 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Not to be confused with T.E. Lawrence.
posted by Fizz at 9:30 PM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Or D H Lawrence.

'Cause I was all, "Good for you, dude. Sell some of that Whore of Babylon cruft before the rocket scientists steal the market."
posted by notyou at 9:37 PM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a copy of "The Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic, and Indian Occultism" that I found in the stacks of a local thrift store. When I took it to the counter to pay for it the cashier told me to "Guard my heart".
posted by nickggully at 6:53 AM on August 17, 2014 [6 favorites]

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