Seabrook, W[illiam]. B.
Title The Magic Island
Book Condition Very Good+ in Very Good dj
Edition Later Printing
Publisher New York Harcourt, Brace and Company [ca. 1938](c.1929)
Illustrator Illustrated by Alexander King; jacket design by Ancona
Seller ID 17005
(price-clipped) [solid copy with light shelfwear, some minor spotting to top of text block; jacket modestly edgeworn, but generally clean and attractive]. (B&W plates, photographs) Reissue, ca. 1938) of Seabrook's famous book about Haiti, which was a best-seller on its initial publication in 1929, introducing the reading public (at least in America) to the subject of voodoo and setting off a bit of a zombie craze (cf. WHITE ZOMBIE, the Bela Lugosi movie, released in 1932). Included in his narrative is the story of Faustin Wirkus, the young U.S. Marine Sergeant who "reigned" for several years as King of the small Haitian island of La Gonāve, which so caught the public's imagination that Wirkus was compelled to write his own account, "The White King of La Gonave." (By a remarkable non-coincidence, I happen to have a copy of this book for sale as well.) Seabrook may not be the most reliable reporter -- even as early as 1940 one reviewer called it "one of the most dubious treatises on Haiti ever produced, yet it has been translated into Czech, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish, and even in Port au Prince they have it around, although the average well-educated Haitian winces and turns a couple of shades paler at mere mention of the name" -- but it's hellishly entertaining, and for decades thereafter Hollywood's zombies looked and acted very much like Seabrook's. Although this reissue jacket is graphically less interesting than the original (and much scarcer) 1929 jacket, it's a good bit more attractive than the generic non-pictorial non-zombie Literary Guild jacket that's sometimes found on copies of their printing, and is still relatively uncommon.
Voodoo Haiti Witchcraft Superstition