Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.. Very Good in Very Good dj. (c.1982). First Edition. Hardcover. 0-87477-211-7 . [spine turned, moderate shelfwear to bottom edge; jacket shows wear at spine extremities, a little scraping on the front panel]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author (not a frequent signer, it would seem) on the ffep: "To ______ / for the Widow's son / Robert / Anton / Wilson." The first volume of Wilson's "Historical Illuminatus Chronicles" series; originally intended to be five books, it became a trilogy by default upon the author's death in 2007. "Set at a pivotal moment in European history, the late 18th century, when both the death rattles of the Inquisition and the first rumblings of the American and French revolutions could be heard, the novel centers around the coming of age of a young Italian composer, Sigismundo Celine. The action begins in church on Easter Sunday where Sigismundo, with his aristocratic family, witnesses his uncle's killing by hooded assassins. Driven by an obsessive desire for revenge, he hunts the killers,an exploration that unexpectedly propels him into the dark side of Neopolitan life. With him we become aware of the invisible and warring power holders and seekers beneath the veneer of civilized society -- the M.A.F.I.A., the Jesuits, the Freemasons, the Dominicans and the Rossos ( forerunners of the Red Brigades)." Sigismundo Celine was an ancestor of Hagburd Celine, protagonist of Wilson's and Robert Shea's influential "Illuminatus! Trilogy," published in 1975. (Note: the reference in the inscription to "the Widow's son" -- the title of the second book in the series, published in 1985 -- dates it to at least a few years after publication.) Signed by Author . (Inventory #: 22242)
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