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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 artist and author who holds an MFA in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She received her BFA from the University at Buffalo with a minor in Art History and also studied at the Scuola Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence, Italy.

She primarily works digitally, or with ink on paper, and her drawings depict plant life and strong female figures that are deeply rooted in history, with a bit of whimsy.

Her illustration work has been featured by Apple, Madison Square Garden, Doc Martens, the Museum of Arts and Design, and more.

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