Broughton’s ‘Elements of Astrology’:
1898 vs. 1906 editions
– May 17, 2007

Recently I bought a scarce 1898 first edition of the legendary Dr. L.D. (Luke Dennis) Broughton‘s ‘Elements of Astrology’ on ebay, thereby allowing me to make a direct comparison between it and the revised second edition published by his relative Ray Broughton seven years after the author’s untimely death in 1899, ie in 1906.

I have found twelve differences between the two editions so far. The main body of text in both is generally identical but there are striking differences between the prefatory and end pages and in the cover design too:

1) Covers:

The first edition has a red colour to its cloth, the second edition blue. Both have essentially the same black font and design on the front cover and spine, with the nativity of Broughton in the middle of the front cover, but there is one surprising difference:

The ornate self-repeating pattern that lines the top and bottom of the front cover and spine on the red first edition takes the form of interwoven horseshoes, alternately facing up and down;

The pattern in the same places on the blue second edition has been changed to one of tesselated triangles alternately facing up and down, with the lower (up-pointing) triangles on the top margin and the upper (downward-pointing) ones on the lower margin containing what appears to be plant imagery with six leaflets and a stem, unless it is a pile of logs above which a flame burns, and the upper triangles at the top margin and lower triangles at the bottom margin alternately featuring a central blue dot, every first triangle, and an empty black space pointed to by three blue arrows extending inwards from the borders of the triangle, every other triangle!

It’s certainly a curiosity to me why after Broughton’s death his relative Ray Broughton decided to replace the horseshoes with this different design. I wonder what the symbolic significance could be?

2) Title page:

On the red 1898 edition, towards the bottom of the page appears between parallel black lines ‘Price: $1.50’ beneath which the publication information is given as ‘New York: Published by the Author, 68 South Washington Square’;

On the blue 1906 edition, towards the bottom of the page between the parallel black lines appears ‘Revised Edition’ and the publication information is given as ‘New York: Published by Ray Broughton, 62 East 120th Street. 1906’

3) ‘Astronomical Symbols and Abbreviations of Sogns, Planets and Aspects’ page

On the red 1898 edition, there is a paragraph towards the bottom of the page that reads:

‘I will here state that I had intended devoting a certain part of this work to “The Elements of Horary Astrology”, also “Mundane Astrology”, “Medical Astrology”, and “Astro-Theology”, but I shall have to defer these branches of the science to another volume. I hope to follow the present book with one on nativities, in the same method as the horoscopes commencing on page 295.’

In the blue 1906 edition, this paragraph has been altogether deleted, replaced only with blank space. Clearly, since L.D. Broughton’s death, Ray Broughton felt that there was no point in readers expecting the deceased astrologer to produce his planned sequels on nativities and the other branches of astrology any more. What a pity that Luke Broughton did not live to complete his work, of which ‘The Elements of Astrology’ was evidently intended to be but the first volume. He was perhaps influenced by the multi-volume works on astrology issued by the likes of Alfred Pearce in the UK into making these grand plans which he was unable to live to complete.

4) Portrait page (i, but not numbered):

On the red 1898 edition, there is a moderately middle-aged portrait of Broughton with black hair and a well-groomed though extensive beard. His name appears printed in capital letters below.

On the blue 1906 edition, the portrait has been completely replaced with a larger sketch showing the elderly Broughton with much greyer hair, beneath which appears his name in handwritten signature script form.

5) Page after portrait page (ii, but not numbered):

In the red 1898 edition, this is entitled ‘Chart of the Heavens, for the time of birth of Dr. L.D. Broughton’ and contains his birth chart with an unusual-looking representation of the Earth with lines of latitude and longitude upon it in the centre of the diagram, and birth data provided beneath.

In the blue 1906 edition, this has been replaced entirely by a page headed ‘Preface to the Second Edition’ in which Ray Broughton announces the death of the author on September 22nd, 1899.

6) Page xx, ‘Lessons and Books on Astrology’:

In the red 1898 edition, in the final paragraph before the list of books, ‘I recommend him to purchase the following’ is followed by ‘which can be obtained at my office, No. 68 South Washington Square, New York, at the prices appended’. Fourteen books are listed with prices. Then at the foot of the page appears ‘All other books on Astrology that are in print may be had on application at reasonable rates.’

In the blue 1906 edition, ‘I recommend him to purchase the following’ is followed by ‘which can be obtained of Ray Broughton, 62 E. 120th Street, New York, at the prices appended, or will be sent by mail, post paid, on receipt of price. All other books on Astrology that are in print may be had on application at reasonable rates.’ This is then followed by a list of just eleven books, with no further text beneath. The four books that have been removed from the 1898 list are ‘Horary Astrology’ (priced at $1.00 and not credited to any author), ‘Seven Easy Lessons on Astrology’ (priced at $0.25, uncredited), ‘Boston Ephemeris’ (credited to J.G. Dalton and priced at $0.25) and ‘A Treatise of Natal Astrology’ (priced at $3.50, uncredited, but if I recall correctly this is a scarce very early work by George Wilde). The one book that has been added to the 1906 list is ‘Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos’, priced at $3.00 and miscredited to ‘Ashmond’ rather than ‘Ashmand’!

7) Pages xxi-xxiv:

In the red 1898 edition, this consists of four pages of contents of the book in ascending order of page, in dual columns and small script.

In the red 1906 edition, it has been replaced by a three-page-long alphabetically ordered index in a slightly larger font although still in dual columns, followed by an altered version of the page featuring Broughton’s natal chart, moved from the page after the portrait page by Ray Broughton when he replaced it there with his preface to the second edition (see above). It has been altered by the addition of ‘the late’ to the heading ‘Chart of the Heavens for the time of birth of… Dr. L.D. Broughton’. Also, quite unaccountably, Ray Broughton has altered the spelling of ‘Yorkshire’ to ‘Yorkshier’, as well as extending Luke Broughton’s abbreviation of the name of his country of birth from ‘Eng.’ to ‘England’, and removing the picture of the globe from the centre of the birth figure!

8} Pages xxix – xxxiii:

In the red 1898 edition, these contain an ‘Alphabetical Index’ of the contents of the book. Since it is five pages long, it is much more extensively detailed than the earlier alphabetical index which Ray Broughton placed where the contents pages were in the original edition (see above). On the fifth and final page, beneath the last of the index, we find:

‘ADVERTISEMENT: DR. L. D. Broughton is a regular college graduate in medicine, also president of the Astrological Society of New York. Having had over fifty years practice in medicine and astrology, his long experience in both these sciences enables him almost to guarantee satisfaction to those who may favor him with their confidence. He can be consulted either personally or by letter, at his office, 68 South Washington Square, New York.

Office hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.’

In the blue 1906 edition, these pages have been removed altogether, replaced by nothing.

9) Page xxxiv:

In the red 1898 edition, this is headed ‘Opinions of the Press’ and contains reviews or extracts thereof from the Cincinnati Enquirer of Nov. 17, 1898, the New York Herald of Nov. 13, 1898 and the New York Sunday News of October 30, 1898. The comments are very positive. I presume that these papers were allowed to review the book before it went to its main print run, or else the first print run must have been very small and the book updated then to include these very early reviews, and reissued without any additional printing information.

10) Unnumbered page following page 473, and headed ‘READ AND REFLECT’:

In the red 1898 edition, beneath the main first paragraph is found an advertisement for another publication by L.D. Broughton, I should hasten to add one that has become impossibly scarce to find second-hand, though I would love a copy myself:

‘Astro-Medical Botany, or the Ancient Botanic Practice of Medicine Revived, by Dr. L.D. Broughton, 68 So. Washington Square, N.Y., Graduate of the Eclectic Medical College of the State of Pennsylvania, and Editor of ‘The Eclectic Medical Record’, of the State of N.J.’.

Curiously, this is a fuller title than given by Gardner for this unremittingly elusive publication, who called it ‘Remarks on Astrology and Astro-Medical Botany’. However, perhaps there were two editions and Gardner described the first? Whatever the case may be, I have yet to see a copy by either title appear on the Internet for sale in almost three years of trying to keep an eye open!

In the blue 1906 edition, this advertisement has been altogether removed by Ray Broughton, who has brought the paragraph that followed it in the 1898 edition up the page to follow on directly from the first paragraph on the page. I presume he had no stock of his late relative’s work remaining to sell and could not be troubled to reprint it!

11) Unnumbered page following ‘Read and Reflect’ page:

In the red 1898 edition, at the foot of the page is found ‘P.S. The Doctor will be most happy to give any applicant all the desired information concerning every known disease, at his office, 68 South Washington Square, New York.’

In the blue 1906 edition, this notice has been removed from the page.

12) Unnumbered page seven pages after ‘Read and Reflect page:

In the red 1898 edition, towards the bottom of the page after the main discussion has been ruled off is found:

‘L. D. Broughton, M.D., President of the International Astrological Society, located in the City of New York, Editor of “Broughton’s Monthly Planet Reader and Astrological Journal,” Etc., Respectfully announces to his friends and the public in general, that he is permanently located at 68 South Washington Square, New York. where he will be happy to receive all those who may favor him with a visit. His scientific and literary attainments as an Astrologer makes it an object for the public to consult him upon the various contingencies and events of human life. The most sensitive need have no hesitation in seeking for information upon any matter, as the Doctor pays the most scrupulous regard to the feelings and interests of those who consult him, his sole aim being to advise with sincerity, and in all cases the most inviolable confidence is observed. CONSULTATION FEE – Ladies $1 to $3; gentlemen $3 to $5. Office open day and evening. Persons residing at a distance, can consult the Doctor by letter, enclosing $2 and stamp. Send date and place of birth, hour and minute if possible; if hour (…)’

This paragraph is concluded at the top of the following page: ‘and minute are not known send a description of person, height, weight, color of hair, complexion, etc., and state time of some events such as sickness, etc., and if married, give date of marriage, as this assists the Doctor in finding the true time of birth.’

In the blue 1906 edition, the paragraph towards the bottom of the first page has been replaced by:

‘RAY BROUGHTON, No. 62 East 120th Street, New York City. Successor to the late Dr. L.D. BROUGHTON. Consultation, $2.00 to $5.00. Horoscopes written at $2.00, $5.00, $10.00, $15.00, $20.00, $25.00 and upwards, according to length and detail. Predictions for the year written for $2.00, $5.00, $10.00 and upwards. In ordering Horoscopes it is necessary to give the sex, place of birth, year, month, date of month, hour and minute, if possible. Where hour is not known a personal description should be given. A good photograph will be of assistance. Hours from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Sundays excepted. Appointments can be arranged when desired.’

At the top of the following page, with shocking carelessness, Ray Broughton has retained the end of the unfinished sentence carried over from the previous page by Luke Broughton whose earlier part he has excised from the book replacing it with his own words! So readers of the 1906 edition and the mass-produced reprints thereof by the likes of Kessinger must have been baffled to discover a sentence beginning ‘and minute not known send a description’ with no explanation, but at least this mystery is now solved.


It is also striking that on the penultimate page of the second edition of the book, immediately before the advertisement for the bound copy of ‘Broughton’s Monthly Planet Reader and Astrological Journal’ (which, incidentally, has become extremely valuable just over a century later, typically $750 if in very good condition, yet at the time of the publication of ‘Elements of Astrology’ was sold for just $1.00), Ray Broughton has failed to remove one instance of Luke Broughton’s address and consultation details, which were of course completely obsolete by the time the second edition was published.

In conclusion, while he left the main body of the text more or less intact as far as I can make out at a quick glance, Ray Broughton made some fairly cack-handed edits to the prefatory and end pages, to the detriment of some of the original spirit and letter of Luke Broughton’s writing style, personality and professional credentials coming across!

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