Friday, October 17, 2008

Science versus Charlatanry (1979)

Kind of a different book. This tends to show the energy Mr. Joshi was putting into scholarly and reference work for Lovecraft in the late 1970's and onward.
Science versus Charlatanry
Essays on Astrology by H.P. Lovecraft & J.F. Hartmann
edited by S.T. Joshi & Scott Connors
The Strange Co.

Science versus Charlatanry: edited by S.T. Joshi & Scott Connors. The Strange Co., 1979, Paperback, 53 pages. Limited to 200 copies, this is copy 119. UNREAD, clean covers & pages, very tight square binding, no previous owner bookplates or signatures. Contains essays on astrology by H.P. Lovecraft & J.F. Hartmann (see list below). Scarce.

“Recently a quack named Hartmann, a devotee of the pseudo-science of Astrology, commenced to disseminate the usual pernicious fallacies of that occult art through the columns of The News, so that in the interest of true Astronomy I was forced into a campaign of invective and satire. I began seriously, with Science versus Charlatanry, which I followed up with The Falsity of Astrology, but eventually the stupid persistence of the modern Nostradamus forced me to adopt ridicule as my weapon. I thereupon went back to my beloved age of Queen Anne for a precedent, and decided to emulate Dean Swift’s famous attacks on the astrologer Partridge, conducted under the nom de plume of Isaac Bickerstaffe (or Bickerstaff—I have seen it spelled both ways). Accordingly I published a satirical article wherein I gave with an air of solemn gravity the most nonsensical collection of wild prophecies that my brain could conceive; the whole entitled Astrology and the Future, and signed ‘Isaac Bickerstaffe, Jr.’ I there ‘predicted’ the end of the world by an explosion of internal gases in the year 4954. Hartmann scarce knew whether or not to take me seriously, and kept up his mountebank performances, so I prepared another Bickerstaffe paper whose ridicule should become more open toward the end. In this final effort, Delavan’s Comet and Astrology, I explained how the human race shall be preserved after the destruction of the earth, by transportation to the planet Venus! Even the obtuse intellect of the charlatan must have discovered the sarcastic nature of this ponderous prophecy, for he has now quietly ceased to inflict his false notions on a gullible public.” (to Maurice W. Moe, 8 December 1914)

Science versus Charlatanry includes:
Introduction - Scott Connors & S.T. Joshi
Astrology and the European War - J.F. Hartmann
Science versus Charlantanry - H.P. Lovecraft
(Letter to the Editor) - J.F. Hartmann
The Falsity of Astrology - H.P. Lovecraft
Astrology and the Future - Isaac Bickerstaffe, Jr.
The Science of Astrology - J.F. Hartmann
Delavan's Comet and Astrology - Isaac Bickerstaffe, Jr.
A Defense of Astrology -J.F. Hartmann
The Fall of Astrology - H.P. Lovecraft
(Isaac Bickerstaffe's reply) - Isaac Bickerstaffe, Jr.

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