Stamford, CT: U.S. Games Systems, Inc. 2018. Hardback, 440 pages. New.
Known to millions as the creator of one of the most famous tarot packs in the world, Pamela Colman Smith (1878-1951) was also a stage and costume designer, illustrator, folklorist, poet, publisher and suffragette. This comprehensive work, a collaboration between Stuart R. Kaplan together with Mary K. Greer, Elizabeth Foley O’Connor and Melinda Boyd Parsons is a richly and beautifully-illustrated biography of Pamela’s life, together with essays on her contemporaries and the events that influenced her work; a survey of her folktales and poetry, and an exploration of her lasting legacy. It includes over 400 colour images of Smith’s non-tarot artwork from the private library of Stuart R. Kaplan; the reproduction of 30 selected pages from her visitors’ book of 1901-1905; reproduction of many personal documents, portraits and photographs, and rare archival material from museums and libraries. A must for any lovers of Smith’s Tarot and her other works, this amazing volume is a considerable addition to both occult biography and the history of occult art. With an extensive bibliography and index, and beautifully designed, Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story is a treasure trove of insights into the life and world of one of the twentieth-century’s most outstanding and loved magical women.