Friday, November 26, 2021

Something About an Another Anselm

Charming fellow, I’m sure.

I mentioned one Anselm recently and said there was another Anselm of note. It starts by Bellairs again using the name Anselm in another book:
Lewis and Rose Rita sat down on the floor and began leafing through Mrs. Zimmermann's book. They found out quite a bit about magic amulets. They read about the strange parchment found on the body of Bishop Anselm of Würzburg... (The Figure in the Shadows, 50).
Anselm Franz of Ingelheim (1683–1749) was indeed the Bishop of Würzburg from 1746 until his death only a few short years later.  In his essay "Magical Keys" (Magician and, David Bersson writes Bishop Anselm supposedly used the Second Pentacle of Jupiter talisman from the Key of Solomon (Clavicula Salomonis), to gain status, wealth, and protection.  A copy was supposedly found on his body the night of his death.

Bersson's story may originate from author and polymath Idries Shah's 1957 book, The Secret Lore of Magic.  Shah noted in his book the talisman in question (pictured above), is:
"of greater than ordinary interest, because we have an historical instance of its use by a well-known figure.  It carried the inscription: 'Wealth and riches shall be in his house, and his rightenousness endureth for ever.'
This Solomonic talisman of Jupiter was found inscribed on a piece of parchment on the body of Count Anselm, who became Bishop of Wurzburg, on the night of the ninth of February, 1449.  It has been said (of course) that this was the powerful talisman which caused him to rise to such heights, and to gain wealth and power, as well as evading all traps of his many enemies."
I would love to know how a mostly-forgotten bishop from the 18th century is best remembered today for having a piece of paper near his deathbed.  At any rate, Shah's book would have hit bookshelves during Bellairs's time in college at Notre Dame, and we've heard stories about him frequently visiting Chicago and its bookstores.  I like to think he came across the book then, or shortly after that, and it went on to inspire a few things.

Because the charm above looks just a bit familiar.  And I'll explain why soon.

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