The Magic Island


Seabrook, W.B. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1929. 1st edition. B/w plates by Alexander King and photographs by the author. Black cloth, with jacket. 336 pp. 8vo.

Extremely scarce modern 1st about Haitian voodoo and black magic, and the work that popularized the term “zombie”. Eerie illustrations from King, along with the author’s own photographs. Black cloth with a blind-stamped device and silver lettering. Wear to the page tops, but on the whole in very fine condition. The jacket, which is rarely coupled with the volume, bears a wonderful illustration, and has remained unclipped. Small chips, rubbing and creases to the edges.

He was William Buehler Seabrook, a reporter and Lost Generation writer (claiming the minor distinction of having written the first celebrity rehab tell-all) and it was his book, The Magic Island, a sensationalized account of his voodoo-mad travels throughout Haiti, that first ushered our beloved un-dead bugaboo, the zombie, onto American shores.

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