Nostradamus or the future foretold 
(J. Laver, London, 1942)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie

Laver-1942 In 1942, Collins publishers, seated at 48 Pall Mall, London, published Nostradamus or the future foretold, a study by James Laver on Nostradamus and the Centuries. The title page contained a statement of Napoleon III about the Centuries: Ça épouvante et énerve l'imagination. Underneath this statement, the text of the Legis Cautio was printed, the warning at the address of the inapt critics, in some editions of the Centuries a not-numbered quatrain which comes next to quatrain 06-99, in other editions of the Centuries a not-numbered quatrain between Century 06 and Century 07.
Laver began to study Nostradamus and the Centuries in the years before World War II. In his preface, he wrote that once in a bookseller's stall at the Quai St. Michel - what a coincidence! - in Paris, he bought a copy of a book on Nostradamus, written by the French Century-scholar Eugène Bareste, for 15 Francs. At first, Laver was heavily disappointed by the lacking of links and connections and he wondered if it really were the Centuries which great thinkers like Pascal kept on their bookshelves. However, he became fascinated by the link of quatrain 09-20 ( [...] Le moine noir et gris dedans Varennes [...] ) to the flight of Louis XVI, the first constitutional king of France, to whom the fourth line of quatrain 09-20 seems to contain a reference in the words Esleu cap
Laver studied a great number of Century-comments, which in his preface he called editions of the Centuries. He held the comments of the French Century-scholars Bareste, Le Pelletier, Torné-Chavigny and Du Vignois in high esteem. In his eyes, Du Vignois' comment was very revealing for those quatrains which dealt with the second half of the nineteenth century. In the case of British comments on the Centuries, he esteemed the comment by Charles A. Ward. Laver did not study comments, written by German Century-scholars.
When World War II began, Laver had sketched a biography on Nostradamus and a comment on the Centuries. The capitulation of France made it impossible for him to travel to Paris and to study in the Bibliothèque National. Laver was constrained to study the Centuries in England in the meantime, in railway waiting-rooms, in crowded trains or in the cellar of a London house during German air raids.
In addition to his research on the Centuries, Laver deepened himself in the occult. He read numerous books on occult phenomena, experimented with telepathy and crystal-gazing, attended séances and visited a number of clairvoyants. He also read books on astrology and magic, in order to become familiar with the terminology in these branches of occultism. He also had his horoscope explained by the well-known astrologer Louis de Wohl, in order to understand the practice of astrology. At the end, Laver was not convinced of the validity of the spiritual hypotheses, but he concluded that the human mind was far more complicated than he had been willing to believe and that he was unable to dismiss the Centuries, even though he rejected much of the ideas and explanations of other Century-scholars. In the closing line in the epilogue, he mentioned the inescapable fact that Nostradamus was a true Prophet. 


Contents and illustrations
Nostradamus or the future foretold consists of 255 pages. The text is divided as follows:

  • Prologue
  • ch. I: Nostradamus the Physician
  • ch. II: Nostradamus the Prophet
  • ch. III: The House of the Seven
  • ch. IV: The House of Bourbon
  • ch. V: Nostradamus and the History of England
  • ch. VI: Nostradamus and the French Revolution
  • ch. VII: Nostradamus and Napoleon I
  • ch. VIII: The Restoration that was and the Restoration that wasn't
  • ch. IX: To the End of the World
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix: The Prophecy of Olivarius and the "Prophétie d'Orval"
  • Bibliography: Principal Early Editions of the "Centuries"; List of Principal Commentators; Other Works Consulted

The title page is preceded by a portrait of Nostradamus, with underneath a four-line verse:

Dieu se sert icy de ma bouche
Pour t'anoncer la verité
Si ma prediction te touche
Rends grace à sa Divinite


Laver's methods
In Nostradamus or the future foretold, many connections are made between quatrains and events in the past or events which might occur in the future. Regarding the past, Laver discussed the Hous of Valois, the House of Bourbon, the history of England from 1558 to 1714, the French Revolution, Napoleon I and the history of France from the fall of Napoleon until the foundation of the Third Republic. He did not discuss World War I.
It is not always clear if, and if yes, which quatrains Laver by himself linked to a certain event and which links are based upon the comments of Century-scholars like Bareste, D.D., Dr. de Fontbrune, Le Pelletier, Du Vignois and Ward. In order to establish dates of fulfilment, he did not apply an arithmetic system, whether or not based upon astrology. In short, his way of establishing was that he linked a quatrain to an event if the contents of this quatrain corresponded with the event, preferably by concrete clues like names of persons, names of places and years. To each quatrain Laver discussed, he linked one single event. 
In his preface, Laver wrote that everyone who tried to explain the quatrains, could become the victim of his own ingenuity and could see connections and meanings which actually were not there. He thought it very well possible that in some cases he himself was the victim of his own ingenuity. Laver is not the only scholar who links quatrains to events because of names of persons, names of places and years. Today, there are also scholars who work like this. The problem is that in almost all quatrains, the date of fulfilment is not given, which means that we don't know what fulfillment date the compiler of the Centuries had in mind. In other words, there is not one guarantee that a method, as applied by Laver, results in the correct interpretation, the interpretation which corresponds with the meaning of the compiler of the quatrains. Further, we can only hope that scholars who examined the past in this way, have not overlooked events and that in the future there will not be an event which corresponds to a commented quatrain in a better way than the event which already has been linked to it.


World War II
In chapter IX in Nostradamus or the future foretold, entitled To the end of the world, Laver discussed the war which had begun in 1939. On page 213 in this chapter, he described why in the years between the two world wars the interest in Nostradamus and the Centuries increased.
At the end of the nineteenth century, humanity, according to Laver, was lead by materialism, optimism, rationalism and the idea of progress. In the course of the twentieth century, the situation became worse more and more. Optimism was replaced by fear; people did not wonder if there would be a catastrophe, but what kind of catastrophe would come. Some turned to superstition, which perhaps was not that obsolete as some enlightened thinkers said. Newspapers with large circulation granted space to astrological predictions. As a result of this attitude, the interest in Nostradamus increased, especially in France, where he was discredited at the time of the foundation of the Third Republic. In their ardour to unveil the future, the new generation French Century-scholars were not hindered by the failure of their predecessor Torné-Chavigny, whose prediction that Napoleon III would be succeeded by the Great Chyren, was not fulfilled. The future perspectives of these Century-scholars were quite divergent. almost all of them agreed that France would be attacked from Switzerland.[1] Some said that England would not be involved in the coming conflict, whereas others said that in the coming conflict, England would betray France. Some predicted in full confidence that the British monarchy would come to an end and that England would lose her Empire. Laver considered most of these comments fatuous and confusing, but noted that Melanie Calvat, the famous shepherdess of La Salette, who lived in the beginning of the twentieth century and still was credited among Catholics in the French countryside, prophesied in the same terms.[2] According to Laver, one could only wonder about the impact of this belief on the disastrous disposition of the French General Staff in 1940. This kind of belief could not be dismissed, as could be learned from the stories that Hitler, prior to all his important decisions, consulted his private astrologer. The statement of this astrologer that the astrological aspects were unfavourable, was the most important reason for Hitler not to attack England after the conquest of Dunkirk. This astrologer, however, was dismissed, since he refused to prophesy smooth things to Hitler.[3]
In the eyes of Laver, Nostradamus or the future foretold would be incomplete if it would not include the results of an attempt to relate quatrains to the actual situation and the immediate future. Laver discussed about thirty quatrains in connection with events, prior to World War II, the war itself and the future course of it. He emphasized that some of these quatrains were extremely vague and difficult to translate literally.  
In Nostradamus or the future foretold, quatrain 08-28 is linked to the inflation in Europe in the twenties, partly because of a comment of De Fontbrune. Quatrain 01-47 is linked to the League of Nations. Quatrain 03-54 is linked to the Spanish Civil War and the rise of Franco; quatrain 10-98 is linked to the corruption in France which would result in its capitulation in 1940. Quatrain 09-90 is linked to Hitler's faked politics of protecting other countries; quatrain 05-94 is linked to the invasion in the Netherlands, Belgium and the north of France. Quatrain 02-50 is linked to the capitulation of Belgium. It is remarkable that Laver did not translate the words Grande Germanie in the quatrains 05-94 and 09-90 into Great Germany, but into Greater Reich, thus introducing a political element.
Laver's discussion of quatrains which possibly can be linked to the war, shows that he attributed to Nostradamus the foreseeing of torpedoes (quatrain 02-40), the aeroplane (the quatrains 03-82 and 04-48), bombs (quatrain 05-08) and the submarines (quatrain 04-15). In quatrain 03-71, the failure of the German blockade of England would have been predicted. Quatrain 05-51 was linked to the "Small Entente", the pact between the Balkans, England, Poland and Czechoslovakia, with the purpose to guarantee the free passage of the Street of Gibraltar, while Italy and Spain would hatch a cruel plot. Quatrain 06-07 would contain the prediction that Norway, the Balkans and England would be troubled by the two dictators, i.e. Hitler and Mussolini. Hitler's plans with East-Europe would have been mentioned in quatrain 03-97, a quatrain which according to Laver also could deal with a new crusade against the Islam.
About the course of the war, Laver wrote that according to quatrain 05-78, Hitler and Mussolini would not hold out for long. He did not write in which year they would fall. The collapse of the "Axis" might begin with a revolt against Mussolini, predicted in the quatrains 06-68, 08-47 and 06-31. It is not clear in which year this revolution would take place. Further, Laver supposed that there was a correspondence between the second line of quatrain 06-31 and quatrain 08-99. According to the comment on the latter quatrain, it would be necessary, before the war, to evacuate the Holy See because of the power of Hitler, Franco and Mussolini, a comment which at that time was quite sensational. 
Laver did not refute the link in national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries and/or Century-comments, of quatrain 10-31 to the final German victory; he did not discuss this quatrain at all.


The Hister-quatrains
According to Laver, Nostradamus received names from time to time, sometimes correct, sometimes distorted. Perhaps the last line of quatrain 03-96 might point to Pope Leo XIII. The French text of this line reads: Saturne en Leo treizième de Fevrier. Laver was aware of the fact that the words treizième de Fevrier might very well refer to a date, but he argued that Leo XIII was elected in February.[4]
In the eyes of Laver, the linking of quatrains to events in and prior to the war did not sufficiently show that the Centuries contained predictions about World War II. Names in the Centuries of persons who played an important part in this war, would show this better. According to Laver, the Hister-quatrains, as he called the quatrains 02-24, 04-68 and 05-29 which contain the word Hister, provided the best possibility. The word Hister corresponds fairly well with the name Hitler. 
In his introduction to the Hister-quatrains, Laver wrote that Le Pelletier, about who he emphasized that he "naturally knew nothing about Hitler", mentioned two derivations for Hister: Ister, the Latin name of the Danube, and hister, the Etruscan word for a comedian or actor. Laver considered an allusion to Hitler by the words Mountebank from the Danube was not that bad. He therefore linked quatrain 02-24 to Hitler's expansion politics, quatrain 04-68 to the Tripartite Pact and air raids on Malta and Genoa and quatrain 05-29 to the first conference of Hitler and Mussolini, who according to him as indicated by the word Duc, an allusion to the Duce.[5]
In the beginning of this article, it has been noted that Laver did not read German Century-comments. In the comments of the Germans Dennert, Loog, Noah, Winkler and Wöllner, the word Hister was not linked to Hitler as a person. In their national-socialist Nostradamus-brochures, Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s., Centgraf, Krafft, Kritzinger and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not link the word Hister to Hitler as a person either. Neither was such a link laid by De Fontbrune and Ruir, whose books Laver had consulted during the writing of Nostradamus or the future foretold. Ruir did not discuss the Hister-quatrains at all, whereas De Fontbrune (1939 [1938], p.172) thought that the word Hister was a reference to Germany by means of the river Danube. In this article, it is therefore supposed that the linking of Hister to Hitler as a person was not a German finding, but an English finding, dating from the years of war and which, one year after the issue of Nostradamus or the future foretold, was used in the pseudo-Winkler brochure Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf (1943), produced by the British Secret Service and mainly written by Louis de Wohl, the well-known astrologer who made Laver familiar with astrological techniques.[6] After the war, some Century-scholars also linked the Hister-quatrains to Hitler, among them the French Century-scholar Michel Chomarat.[7] 
In Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert (Görlitz, 1939 [1938], p.37-38), dr. Bruno Winkler linked quatrain 03-58 (erroneously numbered as II, 58) to the birth and rise of Hitler. Laver did not discuss this quatrain.


The quatrains 03-57 and 10-100
Often in his discussion in chapter V of the history of England from 1558 to 1714, Laver discussed comments of the German Century-scholar D.D. (Dietrich von Dobbeler) in The Prophecies of Nostradamus concerning the fate of all the kings and queens of Great Britain since the Reformation. Now made in English (London, 1715), a translation of Merckwürdige Fata der Gross-Britannischen Crone, sint der Zeit, da die Religion reformiret worden, schon damahls verkündiget durch den Welt-berühmten Propheten Michael Nostradamus, der Anno 1566 gestorben, jetzt aber aus dessen Vaticiniis, so in jedermans Händen mit Fleiss zusammen gesuchet, und mit einer kurtzen Erzehlung der Geschichten erleutert / von D.D. According to Laver, many Century-scholars have a political motive in their writing. In his eyes, Von Dobbeler wanted to demonstrate that Nostradamus predicted the coronation in 1714 of George I of the House of Hanover to King of England. About this coronation, Von Dobbeler also wrote Der Göttliche Raht-Schluß / Das Haus Chur-Braunschweig Auff den Groß-Britannischen Thron zu erheben / Schon vor Neunzig Jahren beschrieben In den bekannten Kötterischen und Poniatovischen Revelationen Versiegelt befindlich / ; the second edition dates from 1715.
In The Prophecies of Nostradamus..., Von Dobbeler laid a link between quatrain 03-57, in which seven changes in England were predicted in a 290-year period, and the period 1649-1939, in which until 1714 (the coronation of George I) six changes took place in England, to begin with the beheading in 1649 of Charles I. In connection with 1939, D.D. predicted another change (its nature unclear), with next the ruling of the British Royalty until the end of times. In Nostradamus - ses prophéties (Paris, 1914), a book which Laver also studied, the French Century-scholar Charles Nicoullaud also linked quatrain 03-57 to the period 1649-1939. Nicoullaud wrote that whatever would happen in England in 1939, was the future's secret.[8] 
In his discussion of quatrain 03-57, Laver did not pay attention at all to the comments of Von Dobbeler and Nicoullaud. Without arguing and without mentioning his source, he copied the comment, given by Le Pelletier, who supposed that the period of 290 years ran from 1500 to 1789, in which seven changes took place in England, to begin with the conflict between Henry VIII and the Roman Catholic Church in 1532 and to end with the coronation in 1714 of George I. According to Le Pelletier, quatrain 03-57 also would contain a prediction of the division of Poland in 1772; Poland being referred to int he fourth line with the words Pole Bastarnan, an allusion to the ancient Poland.[9] In Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921 [1920]), the German Century-scholar Loog, while maintaining Von Dobbeler's series of six changes in England in the period 1649-1714, supposed that the seventh and last change in England in the period of 290 years, counting from 1649, would go hand in hand with a crisis in Poland. After the German invasion in Poland in September 1939 and the subsequent British declaration of war to Germany, quatrain 03-57 was linked to those events, also by Loog himself and also in national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries and/or Century-comments.[10] Laver did not discuss that link.
According to Laver, the period of more than 300 years of British supremacy, mentioned in quatrain 10-100, started in 1588, when the Spanish Armada was defeated. An omen of the end of this period would be the fusion of the British and American navy in their fight against Germany.[


Discussed quatrains in connection with what happened before World War II, the actual situation and the expected course of the war (Laver-1942, p.214-224)

Inflation in Europe in the twenties
The League of Nations
Rise of Franco; Spanish Civil War
Corruption in France, resulting in the capitulation of France in 1940
Prior to the war, Hitler undermines France
The Germans pass the Maginot-line
Hitler's politics to "protect" countries
1940: German invasion in the Netherlands, Belgium and the north of France
1940: capitulation of Belgium
Air raids on French troops who draw themselves back to Paris
France is split, Paris no longer represents France
Hister: Hitler's politics of expansion
Hister: Tripartite-pact, air raids on Malta and Genoa
Hister: first conference of Hitler and Mussolini
First conference of Hitler and Mussolini
First conference of Hitler and Mussolini
Mussolini persecutes his former associates after he came into power
Mussolini persecutes his former associates after he came into power
The use of the torpedo
The use of the airplane
The use of the airplane
The use of bombs
The use of submarines
The German-British blockade turns out to be favourable for England
The "Small Entente"
Norway, the Balkans and England are troubled by Hitler and Mussolini
Hitler's Drang nach Osten
Hitler and Mussolini will not hold out for long
Hitler and Mussolini will not hold out for long
Revolt against Mussolini; the cooperation between Germany and Italy is troubled
A conspiracy in Perugia, Germans will be killed
Fall of Mussolini
Before 1939: the Holy See must be evacuated because of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini



Reprints of Nostradamus or the future foretold


De Meern, the Netherlands, April 16, 2007
T.W.M. van Berkel


The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. Such an idea was advocated by a.o. De Fontbrune (1939 [1938, fifth edition], p.177 ff; Laver read the second edition) and Ruir (1938, p.85 ff; Laver mentioned this book in his list on p.254 of principal Century-scholars). [text]
  2. Melanie Calvat, also named Mathieu, did not live at the beginning of the twentieth century, as Laver wrote, bur from 1831 to 1904. In the second edition of Nostradamus or the future foretold, Laver rectified this (Laver-1952, p.221). Together with the eleven-year old Maximin Giraud, also named Mémin, Melanie saw the Holy Virgin Mary on September 19, 1846, the day on which the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Mother of Grief. The Holy Virgin told the children that until 1865, there would be a failure of crops, famine and war. Next, there would be a period of peace for 25 years, followed by a new series of wars. In 1879, the text of the message of the Holy Virgin was brought into circulation by appointment of Pope Leo XIII. This message does not contain the prediction of France being attacked from Switzerland, in contrast with Laver's suggestion. [text]
  3. There are rumours that Karl Ernst Krafft, a Swiss astrologer who from January 1940 was involved in the production of national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries, was Hitler's private astrologer and that he was dismissed, since he refused to do smooth predictions. Ellic Howe however demonstrated that Hitler did not have a private astrologer; according to Howe, it was Louis de Wohl who rumoured a story as referred to by Laver (Howe, p.273-292). [text]
  4. Laver-1942, p.212. [text]
  5. Laver-1942, p.218; Le Pelletier, volume II, p.331. [text]
  6. Van Berkel: Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf (London, 1943). In this brochure, meant to undermine the German morale, the word Hister was used in five propagandistic quatrains. 
    In connection with the use of the word Hister as an anagram for Hitler, the Swiss Century-scholar Werner Zimmermann wrote in 1940 in Nostradamus - unsere Stellung zum Schicksal that in German Century-comments, nothing was written about its meaning, whereas in French Century-comments Hister was linked to Hitler (Zimmermann, p.19). Zimmermann's bibliography shows that he consulted the books, written by De Fontbrune and Ruir, but his findings differ from the findings of the author of this article. [text]
  7. On Chomarat's website Prophéties pour temps de crise, quatrain 04-68 is the introduction to the fortune of the Centuries during World War II; Chomarat raises the question if Hitler had the opinion that the word Hister in quatrain 04-68 was an allusion to him. [text]
  8. Van Berkel: Quatrain 03-57 and Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (C. Loog, Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921 [1920]). [text]
  9. Laver-1942, p.118-119; Le Pelletier, volume I, p.137-138. [text]
  10. Loog-1921 (1920), p.68-69; Loog-1940. See also: Van Berkel:
    - Quatrain 03-57 and Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (C. Loog, Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921 [1920]);
    - Nostradamus Scharlatan? (C. Loog in Der Reichswart #50, Berlin, December 12, 1940). [text]
  11. Laver-1942, p.119-120. [text]

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