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Aziloth Books features another great political figure, this time from the eighteenth century – Benjamin Franklin. Our edition of his autobiography is edited by Frank Woodworth Pine with notes and an appendix that includes a summary of key events in Franklin’s life. Our other offering by Franklin is a witty collection of maxims from his serial publication Poor Richard’s Almanac, a bestseller of its time. As timeless expressions of wit and wisdom, Franklin’s pithy aphorisms are as popular today as they were in eighteenth century colonial America.
Olaudah Equiano, an African kidnapped from his village in what is now southern Nigeria, recounts his story of life as a slave in the West Indies and the American colonies in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano…. He describes his ordeals with even-handed honesty and highlights the harsh treatment meted out to other fellow slaves. After travelling to many parts of the world as a free man, Equiano settled in England where he joined with white and black abolitionists to campaign for the end of slavery in Britain’s colonies.
Besides Aziloth Books’ offering of sagas and tales of hilarious derring-do – The Worm Ouroboros and The Complete Brigadier Gerard – we present four titles for those who are mystically inclined: The Machinery of the Mind by Dion Fortune, The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution by P. D. Ouspensky, Unveiled Mysteries by Godfré Ray King and Shambhala the Resplendent by Nicholas Roerich.
And , of course, for the children among us – and let us not forget the kids – there is our delightfully illustrated edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Described as “America’s first fairy tale”, Baum’s creation has been adapted for musicals and films worldwide and remains a firm favourite with all who love a magical flight of fancy.
One of Dion Fortune’s first works – when she still wrote under her given name, Violet Firth – this book began life as a series of lectures on elementary psychology given at the Medico-Psychological Clinic in Brunswick Square, London, where she was a counsellor from 1914-1916. Prior to her employment there, Fortune had studied psychology and psychoanalysis at London University.
The text covers the major aspects of the life of the mind: consciousness, instincts, repression, symbolization, fantasies, dreams and hypnosis.
An invaluable introduction to Dion Fortune’s foundational views on psychology, which does much to illuminate her later, more celebrated work in occult and esoteric circles.
ENGLAND, MY ENGLAND and Other Stories: revised 2nd. ed.
D. H. Lawrence’s skill at dissecting human emotions and conflicting thoughts lends a depth to his writings that few modern writers can match. His innovative application of the “school of realism” gives his characters’ internal reflections a searing authenticity which is borne out with great effect in this collection of short stories.
Selected from works he had originally published in magazines and periodicals between 1913 and 1921, the stories are set in the post-Edwardian period, many against the background of WWI. After extensive revision, the anthology was published in 1922 under the title, England, My England.
Lawrence’s prolific output – novels, short stories, poems, plays and essays, to name a few – was often contentious and earned him as much opprobrium at the time as it did credit, but he is now acknowledged as one of the twentieth century’s masters of literature.
MAXIMS EXTRACTED FROM POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC: With introduction by Aziloth Books; and "The Way to Wealth"
As timeless expressions of wit and wisdom, the maxims in Poor Richard’s Almanac are as popular today as they were in eighteenth century colonial America.
The author behind the pseudonym of Poor Richard, or Richard Saunders, was none other than Benjamin Franklin, the renowned American scientist, statesman and publisher. Franklin presented his Poor Richard character as a man of humble means with aspirations to better himself through hard work and temperate living and the urge to share this wisdom with his fellow citizens.
Popular periodicals in Franklin’s day, almanacs aimed both to inform and entertain their readership and Poor Richard’s Almanac delivered on both counts with great success. Each annual edition consisted of a short introduction followed by poems, proverbs, a calendar of meteorological and astronomical charts, practical household hints, puzzles and often a serial story that ended on a cliff-hanger to ensure the next instalment was purchased.
What made Franklin’s almanac stand out was his signal use of witty wordplay and his collection of short, humorous truisms. Over the 26 years of publication – from 1732 to 1758 – his almanac became a household name in Philadelphia, with two-thirds of the population buying a copy every year.
This edition by Aziloth Books collates the maxims from each edition and includes the “The Way to Wealth”, Franklin’s famous distillate of Poor Richard’s quotes that was published in the last issue of the almanac.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
This account stands as a classic among autobiographies, a compelling and easy read about a man who, from lowly beginnings in Boston, rose to become a hugely-respected public servant, writer, scientist and inventor and who went on to play a key role in the American Revolution and the founding of the United States.
Franklin’s autobiography, published after his death, is an unfinished collection of memoirs written over four different periods of his life. It starts in the form of a letter to his son, William, and describes aspects of his childhood in Boston in the early 1700s and his move to Philadelphia where he set up a successful printing business. The many contributions he made to public causes grew out of a strong sense of civic duty, and a stringent work ethic that formed part of his “plan for attaining moral perfection”, which is detailed in the second period. The last two sections cover his impressive political and scientific work and give the reader an insight into the developing tensions between the American colonies and the British crown.
A polymath of immense standing, Benjamin Franklin stands out as one of the most highly esteemed figures of the nineteenth century.
THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ: Unabridged and illustrated
When Dorothy and her little dog Toto are blown away by a Kansas tornado and end up in a strange and magical land, she seeks the help of the powerful but mysterious Wizard of Oz. In the company of her new friends – the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion – Dorothy travels the yellow brick road to Oz’s Emerald City. But there are fearsome trials to overcome and many of the strange characters they meet are out to hinder their quest.
Described as “America’s first fairy tale”, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been adapted for musicals and films worldwide and remains a firm favourite with all who love a magical flight of fancy.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN'S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION
Ouspensky’s unique series of five ‘psychological lectures’ describe not what Humanity is now, but what it may become.
Most people are ‘asleep’ - they act mechanically, are not totally conscious of their own existence, and are filled with a multitude of ephemeral and competing ‘I’s. To awaken - to find inner unity - one must first become continually self-aware, a difficult task that requires special techniques, sustained effort over many years, and the help of a bona fide ‘school’ of wisdom.
In these lectures, originally meant only for a select few, Ouspensky gives invaluable guidance for those starting out on this most important of all quests. Included in this edition are the ‘Notes on Decision to Work’, a vital adjunct to understanding his philosophy and method. A book that will repay careful study over many years.
SHAMBALA THE RESPLENDENT
Born at St. Petersburg in 1874, Nicholas Roerich was a precocious polymath, excelling at painting, poetry, archaeology, anthropology and botany. In adulthood, Roerich began a life-long fascination with eastern mysticism, founding (with his wife Helena) his own school of ‘Agni Yoga’ in 1920, and embarking, six year’s later on an epic five-year expedition through Chinese Turkestan, Altai, Mongolia and Tibet, to study the religions and culture of the region and to search for the fabled city of Shambhala.
Hidden between towering, snow-covered peaks, Shambhala is said to be earth’s central chakra, a point of balance between this world and the invisible realms, a place where adepts and ascended masters watch over the evolution of humanity and chart its future course. By the end of his expedition, having faced countless dangers and privations, Roerich was certain that he had found clear proof of Shambhala’s existence. As he himself said “We know the greatness of Shambhala. We know the reality of this indescribable realm on earth... Shambhala is connected with the heavenly one. And in this link, the two worlds are unified."
Unveiled Mysteries is Godfré Ray King’s enthralling account of his encounter with Ascended Master Saint Germain, while hiking alone on Mt Shasta in northern California. Saint Germain becomes King’s spiritual guide, and is able to manipulate both time and space to allow his pupil to revisit past lives in Atlantis, Inca-Peru, Mu, and in a long-vanished kingdom now hidden beneath the sands of the Sahara Desert.
Throughout these experiences, St Germain is at pains to point out the Truth that our lives are fundamentally our own creation: we are the choosers of our own “field of expression”. Radiating Love returns love to our lives, while negative feelings bring down those same emotions upon our heads, making existence miserable. We all possess a God-Within that eternally seeks to express Love and Perfection, and by joining our outer personality to this in-dwelling ‘shard of the Divine’ we eventually attain to Mastery, of ourselves and of the fabric of ‘reality’.
THE INTERESTING NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF OLAUDAH EQUIANO, OR GUSTAVUS VASSA, THE AFRICAN
A best seller of its time, Olaudah Equiano’s story of his life as a slave in the second half of the eighteenth century continues to this day to aid our understanding of the Atlantic slave trade and our fight against modern slavery.
According to his memoir, eleven-year old Equiano and his sister were kidnapped from their village (in what is now southern Nigeria) by African slavers. He changed owners several times before being taken to the coast and forced aboard a slave ship destined for Barbados, ending up working for three different slave masters in journeys that took him around the West Indies and across the Atlantic.
Although slavery was part of the culture of many African tribes, including his own, the Eboes, what incensed Equiano more than anything was the heartless cruelty of the transatlantic slavers. His Christian conversion also later prompted him to abhor the institution of slavery itself no matter where it was practised.
Equiano bought his freedom after some 20 years in servitude and, many travels later, settled in England where, as a British citizen, he joined with white and black abolitionists to campaign for the end of slavery in Britain’s colonies.
THE WORM OUROBOROS
A novel of high fantasy and spellbinding imagination set on the (strangely earthlike) planet Mercury and peopled by Ghouls, Goblins, Imps, Demons, and Witches, The Worm Ouroboros tells the epic tale of the conflict between Witchland and Demonland, including an heroic quest to free Goldry Bluszco, banished by sorcery to a remote mountain peak for the killing of Witch-King Gorice XI.
Written in sweeping, heroic, saga-like prose and shot through with stirring poetry, Ouroboros greatly influenced the work of both J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, predating Lord of the Ringsand Chronicles of Narnia by some 30 years. Tolkien was especially impressed by the book, declaring its author to be “The greatest and most convincing writer of invented worlds that I have read."
WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
This is Lenin’s seminal text on social revolution and how to achieve it, published some 16 years before Russia’s October 1917 Revolution. His plan to overturn the Czar’s ruthless autocratic regime proposes the establishment of a cadre of “professional revolutionaries” with the necessary skills and experience to counter the regime’s secret police.
Lenin derides trade unionists as “wretched amateurs”, arguing that a struggle for simple economic betterment is not enough, nor are patchwork reforms – what is needed is the complete overthrow of the political system. Lenin’s “professional revolutionaries” are not so much ‘shock troops’ of violent rebellion as educated activists who will awaken the workers’ class consciousness, leading them to reject western-style political factions and to work within the Party to achieve the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the October Revolution and the ensuing upheavals of the twentieth century.
THE COMPLETE BRIGADIER GERARD: with 55 illustrations by W.B. Wollen
“The finest historical short stories ever written” is Conan-Doyle expert Owen Edwards’ verdict on the Brigadier Gerard series. In this new complete edition, which includes 55 original illustrations by W B Wollen, the aged Brigadier tells all his tales of Napoleonic gloire, quite unhindered by any sense of false modesty. He was, he tells us, "the finest horseman … and the best swordsman in the entire Grande Armee”, an outstandingly brave, hot-blooded hussar who was, of course, beloved by any woman fortunate to cast her eyes upon him. Nor was the Emperor unaware of Etienne Gerard’s accomplishments, and sought him out for a variety of secret, or especially dangerous assignments. And so we are told of wild adventures from the Peninsular War, Waterloo, the retreat from Moscow, Gerard's imprisonment in England, and even an attempt to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena.
As we listen, we gradually realise that the bold Hussar’s brain was perhaps not quite as sharp as his sword. Gerard regularly misconstrues orders, and has the most preposterous ideas on the sporting ideals of his favourite enemy, the English, who he mistakenly believes to be in awe of his prowess at both pugilism and fox-hunting.
An inspiration for the Flashman series, George MacDonald Fraser describes Brigadier Gerard as “a splendid catalogue of secret missions, escapes, love affairs, duels, disguises, pursuits, triumphs, and occasional disasters,” narrated in “inimitable mock French style.”
FRANKENSTEIN OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS
Frankenstein was written, said Shelley, to “curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart.’’
It succeeds in doing just that and stands as the classic of gothic horror novels, inspiring many screen and stage adaptations. But none has ever done proper justice to the novel’s powerful ethical and philosophical themes – scientific hubris, our narrow perception of beauty, the powerful urge for friendship and love and the consequences if these needs are denied.
The story itself is a gripping blend of science fiction, mystery and thriller. Victor Frankenstein, obsessed with the idea of creating life from death, experiments with alchemy and science to build a man-like monster from dead remains. He succeeds, but immediately abandons the fruit of his labours, repulsed as he is by its grotesque appearance. The reader’s compassion is kindled for the sentient creature left to fend for himself but his maker shows little empathy and is arguably more monster than the being he spawned. The ogre’s rejection by his “father” sets in motion a tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness.
Written when Shelley was only 18 years old in response to a challenge between herself, Lord Byron, her husband-to-be, Percy Shelley, and John Polidori, to compose the most terrifying ghost story, this volume is based on the third edition of 1831, and contains the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Shelley's preface to the first edition.