Thursday, 26 October 2017

pseudomonarchia dæmonum

We enjoyed exploring Jacques Collin de Plancy’s comprehensive reference on demonology, le Dictionnaire Infernal, with Public Domain Review as our dark companion and guide. First published in 1818 to a rather startlingly resounding reception (given relatively enlightened nature of the era) it was the sixth and final version that was illustrated by maritime painter Louis Le Breton (working from earlier engravings) that cemented the book’s popularity in 1863 and haunted the reader with superstitions which the author and the age had believed themselves to have matured beyond.  The occult has always managed to gain a purchase in times when rationality and reason seems on the rise and de Plancy himself vacillated in his belief as he embarked on his project, but in seeking to formally classify and describe the hierarchy of that universe may help to reconcile that dissonance.