The Golden Bough, A Study in Magic and Religion
Communist spy Percy Glading's copy, in deluxe full leather by Studley
Full leather binding by Studley with gilt titling and design to spine and upper board. Top edge gilt, silk page marker. 23 × 15cm, xiv + 756pp.
This copy belonged to Percy Eded Glading (here as Bro. P E Glading), and was presented to him by Reg Birch, Jack Reid, and the executive council and members of the London (North) District Committee of the Amalgamated Engineering Union in 1951 following 40 years of membership. The presentation label is signed by the council, the members have signed the front pastedown.
Percy Glading was a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, member of the League Against Anti-Imperialism, close friend of Harry Pollitt, and key figure in Russian Intelligence exploitation of CPGB structures and personnel during the 1930s. He was frequently on the radar of MI5 and was eventually caught in the possession of secrets from Woolwich Arsenal in 1938 and sentenced to six years penal servitude. He was caught with the help of Olga Gray (Miss X) an MI5 infiltration agent.
Originally published in thirteen volumes between 1890 and 1915, and here in the first abridged edition, The Golden Bough is a comprehensive work on comparative religion and mythology. The title refers to the branch broken from a sacred tree by Aeneas before his descent into the underworld. In a massive cross-cultural analysis, Frazer attempted to discern archetypal or universal elements in religions and magical practices. It was a hugely influential work in this field of study.
This copy is in very good condition. There is a very little tanning to the pages but the leather is in good order and the inner binding is secure.