London: William Charleton, . Sixth Edition [First Edition thus]. Hardcover. Robert Cross Smith (1795-1832), a former carpenter, was an English astrologer, writing under the pseudonym of "Raphael." He also referred to himself as the Royal Merlin. He married in 1820 and moved to London, where he became interested in astrology. Together with G. W. Graham, he published a book on geomancy in 1822. Smith began to edit a periodical The Straggling Astrologer in 1824, but failed to receive enough subscribers and the periodical had to be discontinued after a few issues. He collected the issues of the failed periodical in a volume entitled The Astrologer Of The Nineteenth Century in the same year. From 1827 until his death in 1832, he edited an astrological almanac, entitled The Prophetic Messenger. Also published by Smith was The Familiar Astrologer and A Manual of Astrology, both in 1828. Smith died on 26 February 1832 in London. His almanac continued to be edited as Raphael’s Ephemeris and would become a standard work in British and US American astrology. Raphael's Ephemeris popularized the system of Placidian system of astrological houses in the English-speaking world and in modern western astrology in general. Published posthumously. The name Raphael, one of the names given to one of the three archangels in the Old Testament, was used as Smith's pseudonym.
The Astrologer of the Nineteenth Century covers, in quite dramatic prose, a multitude of occult topics in ten chapters, or "circles." Raphael contends that he believes firmly in astrology, fairly firmly in geomancy, and not much in magic rites, charms, or incantations. Includes many necromantic workings including a summoning spell for Oberon. (He only includes these last to satisfy "those who delight in the terrific, and the horribly sublime.") The book makes a range of arguments for the veracity of astorlogy, the most ingenious being that "the greatest rulers, and statesmen, and chiefs, of the present age" are part of a conspiracy. Formerly owned by Alfred Pearce, noted 19th century astrologer. Scarce. Very Good+. Boards rubbed and soiled, loose and shaken verso boards, chipping and cracking, light red rot, printed paper label rubbed and worn, toning, otherwise tight and sound, contents fine. Half marbled boards with printed paper label on spine (worn). xvi, 350pp + illus. from engraving, 8vo. Former owner label and bookseller ticket. States "Sixth Edition" at base of title page. Inscriptions. Reissue with new preface and title page of the weekly periodical published under the title The Straggling Astrologuer, issues 1-22. Item #11287