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Exclusive Excerpt: The Queen of Wands: The Story of Pamela Colman Smith

Tarot lovers, get ready to learn about the illustrator behind the iconic Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, Pamela Colman Smith!

A visionary artist who grew up in London, was educated in Brooklyn, and lived for some time on the island of Jamaica before moving back to London, Pamela’s credit for the deck that was first published in December 1909 is long overdue. Cue author and illustrator Cat Willett, who presents Pamela’s story in the graphic biography The Queen of Wands: The Story of Pamela Colman Smith, the Artist Behind the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. Plus, Cat has illustrated Pamela’s own words in beautiful two-page spreads and included a short history of tarot to put Pamela’s story in context.

We hope you enjoy this exclusive sneak peek of the early years of Pamela Coleman Smith’s life from 1878-1896! The Queen of Wands is on sale September 13th and available for pre-order now!

Meet The Author: Cat Willett

Cat Willett is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and author of The Queen of Wands: The Story of Pamela Colman Smith: The Artist Behind the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (Running Press, September 2022) and the forthcoming Women of Tarot (Running Press, June 2024). Her work celebrates women and aims to uplift and inspire others through bold, vibrant imagery.

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