London: W. Hughes, 1819. First Edition. Octavo. Item #025676
. xxii, 410 pages, plates I-III and full page diagrams with many in text illustrations. This was a thorough compilation of information on the practice and theory of judicial astrology. As such, it was a rare kind of book to be published before the relative boom of the 1830s. Wilson's intention was to render astrology 'open to examination and experiment' (Wilson, iv), in order that people might prove or disprove its worth for themselves. His work commended Ptolemy and Placidus but occasionally criticized the former, which earned him the opprobrium of his contemporary, John Worsdale. Nothing is known of his life and personal circumstances. In the 1846 Methodist Review article on the black arts, Wilson's work was already scarce but considered definitive since it became one of the foundational books for modern astrology. Bookplate of D.G. Nelson, Astrological and Occult Books, Chicago opened in Chicago since 1916 and was the center for the strong occult groups in Chicago for over a hundred years. A handsome copy bound in 3/4 polished calf over marbled paper covered boards, all edges marbled, raised bands ruled in gilt, red morocco spine label gilt, tiny spot of wear to head, light wear to edges of p. 167. Very nice.