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A Treatise proving Spirits, Witches and Supernatural Operations by Pregnant Instances and Evidences, together with other things worthy of note.
Robert Pawlet at the Bible in Chancery-Lane near Fleetstreet, London 1672 - Hardcover. Small octavo. (xiv) + 320pp (iv pp - additions and errata) . Full leather, contemporary calf boards with gilt rules to borders, rebacked with later leather spine with raised bands & title label. Modern endpapers. The author, Meric Casaubon (1599-1671), was a classical scholar, Prebend of Canterbury Cathedral and holder of other ecclesiastical posts, who is now most widely remembered on account of his editorship of "A True and Faithful Relation of What passed for many Yeers between Dr. John Dee. and Some Spirits" (1659). His "A Treatise proving Spirits, Witches and Supernatural Operations" is - as the title suggests - a refutation of the works of Wagstaffe and others who had argued against the belief in witchcraft and the supernatural: in particular the second part of the work contains a strong defence of traditional views of witchcraft and demonology. The text was first published by T. Garthwait under the rather innocuous title "Of credulity and incredulity in things natural, civil and divine" in 1668. It evidently did not sell well and after Casaubon's death the sheets were sold to two other London printer / publishers: Robert Pawlet (as this copy) and Brabazon Aylmer ("at the Three Pigeons in Cornhill"). They evidently colloaborated and reissued it under the more eye-catching title "A Treatise proving Spirits, Witches and Supernatural Operations" in 1672, the year after Casaubon's death. Each publisher replaced the original title-page with a new one, bearing the new title and his own imprint, and they were presumably released close to simultaneously. Details of quantities are not known, but those with the Aylmer imprint appear to be slightly more common than those with the Pawlet imprint, although both are scarce. From the collection of Dr. M. H. Coleman, with his ex-libris seal blind-stamped on the front free endpaper. Boards show some age-wear and are rounded at corners. Previous owner's name and year of acquisition (1706) in brown ink in the upper margin of title-page and the page thereafter and five words have been underlined and a short marginal note added to p. 77 in the same brown ink (the pen annotation has bled through to the fore-edge margin of page 78). There is a neat repair to the inner margin of the title page - evidently a thumb-print size chip was missing - which has been replaced, and the three letters of type that were lost with it restored. Some darkening and discoloration to imprimatur and title-page, otherwise a solid, complete VG or better copy. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Weiser Antiquarian Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-05-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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