I was super excited to have the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book because I heard about it a few months ago and knew that I had to read it. As a long time reader and fan of Llewellyn, I desperately wanted to learn about their origins and marvelous history. I was also curious to learn more about the person behind the name and this book definitely did not disappoint. I was amazed at the depths of this book. It’s truly a biography of a publishing house and the wizard behind the curtain.
Weschcke was such an interesting character with an incredible back story. I could see bits of myself in him as I’m sure most Llewellyn fans could as well. We magical book-worms share many things in common, one of the main ones being the love of spiritual books!
Marquis does a brilliant job at delving deep into the life of Weschcke from his childhood, pharmaceutical background, his NAACP years, and his acquisition of the Llewellyn publishing house. It was interesting to read about the New Age in the 1960s and 1970s at its height and all of Weschcke’s other magical ventures. Marquis discusses his failures and shortcomings equally as she does his successes.
The passion for sharing occult information with the world is evident in this biography and brings a human element to what has become the number one publishing house of the mind, body, spirit genre. The family like feel of this company was evident from the very beginning as was its mission to educate and celebrate the New Age. The attributes I associate with Llewellyn today such as quality and expertise have their origins with Weschcke and all of the trailblazers who have been apart of the Llewellyn family from the start.
Each chapter takes a close look at the many different incarnations of Llewellyn that often responded to and inspired the need and desire for occult information over the decades. This was helmed by Carl Weschcke whose intuition and passion for education was the North Star of this company.
Readers will appreciate the quotes from many Llewellyn authors and staff, as well as the intimate look at Carl Weschcke the grandson, son, husband, father, and boss.
Llewellyn is so much more than a publishing house. It is a relic with a history as constellated as the starry skies, and a founder as magical as its books.