Information on
James Laver (1899-1975)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie

James Laver
James Laver
(ca. 1952)

James Laver is the author of Nostradamus or the future foretold, a study on Nostradamus and the Centuries, first published in 1942, revised in 1952 and further revised in 1973.
The prologue to Nostradamus or the future foretold shows that shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Laver came in touch with the Centuries. Fascinated by the correspondences between the contents of quatrain 09-20 and the flight of the French king Louis XVI to Varennes, where he got arrested, Laver began to deepen himself in the enigma of the Centuries. He studied numerous Century-comments and numerous publications which dealt with occult phenomena. At the end of his prologue, he wrote that this study made it clear to him that the human mind was far more complicated than he had been willing to believe and that he could not dismiss the Centuries, although he refuted much material, found by other Century-scholars. In the closing line of his epilogue, he wrote about the inescapable fact that Nostradamus was a true Prophet.
Laver, art critic, author and fashion-expert, was born in Liverpool on March 14, 1899. He got educated at the Liverpool Institute and the New College in Oxford.
Laver was an erudite man and a many-sided author. He wrote biographies, novels, poems and satires and published on art and fashion. Some of his books were translated into Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish. In 1921, he won the
Newdigate Prize for English Verse. From 1922 to 1959, he was Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and was in charge of the theatrical collections. 
A number of titles of honour were granted to Laver, such as CBE (Commander in the Order of the British Empire), Hon. RE (Honourable Member of the Royal Engineers), FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, founded in 1754), and FRSL (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the oldest literary organization in England, founded in 1820).
was married with the actress Veronica Turleigh. He died in a fire on June 3, 1975, in Lewisham, London.


Publications by James Laver in the period 1927-1937
The first edition of Nostradamus or the future foretold contained a list of titles of some of Laver's publications. In this article, this list of titles is completed with the years and the places of issue.


  • Nymph errant (London, 1932) 

  • Background for Venus (London, 1934) 

  • Panic among Puritans (London, 1932)


  • Whistler (1930)

  • Wesley (London, 1932)


  • A history of British and American etching (London, 1929)

  • French painting and the nineteenth century (Batsford, 1937) 

  • Stage designs and costumes by Oliver Messel (London, 1933)


  • A stitch in time or pride prevents a fall (London, 1927) 

  • Love's progress or the education of Araminta (London, 1929) 

  • Ladies' mistakes (Bloomsbury, 1933)


  • Macrocosmos - a poem (London, 1929)

  • Winter wedding. A decoration (London, 1934)


Publications by James Laver on Nostradamus


Laver 1942
Laver 1952
Laver 1981 (1973)
Laver-1981 (1973)


De Meern, the Netherlands, April 19, 2007
T.W.M. van Berkel



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