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Of Ghostes and Spirites Walking by Nyght, and of Strange Noyses, Crackes and Sundry Forewarnynges, which Commonly Happen before the Death of Menne, great slaughters, [and] alterations of kyngdomes. One booke, written by Lewes Lauaterus of Tigurine. And translated into Englyshe by R.H. [Robert Harrison]
Henry Benneyman for Richard Watkyns, London 1572 - Hardcover. Small quarto, [xvi], 220pp. Signatures: [a] b4 c A-2D4 2E . Superb period-style full leather craft binding by renowned London book-binder, Bernard C. Middleton. Brown calf, blind stamped device and rules to front and rear boards, title in gilt between raised bands on spine. Elaborate decorated titlepage, decorative initials, head- and tail-pieces. English gothic type. The first English edition of what is generally regarded as one of the most important demonological studies of ghosts and spirits of the period. The author, Ludovici Lavater (1527-1586) was the Chief Pastor of the Calvinist Church of Z├╝rich, and according to Thorndike his book was originally published in German in 1569, and reissued in Latin that same year under the title "De Spectris Lemuribus et Magnis atque Insolitis Fragoribus, Variisque Praesagitionibus ." In it Lavater presented a variety of historical and contemporary accounts of ghosts or lemures, arguing that these were often not, as commonly supposed, the shades or spirits of the restless dead, but rather angelic or demonic entitites, a part of some Divine or Satanic plan. Lavater's work was both popular and controversial, and as well as appearing in a number of Latin editions was translated into French in 1571 and English in 1572. The book had a profound effect on Elizabethan attitudes towards ghosts and demonology, with various authors citing its influence on some of Shakespeare's works, notably Hamlet for which it clearly served as a source. STC 15320. Exceedingly rare. From the collection of Dr. M. H. Coleman, with his ex-libris seal blind-stamped on the first blank. A couple of small scrapes to the leather on the front board, very light rubbing to head and tail of spine. Some pale discoloration, mostly to the margins, and a several pages have some light ink marks, probably artefacts from the printing process. The binding is firm, tight and attractive, and the pages clean and supple. A VG+ copy of a legendarily rare and important work. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Weiser Antiquarian Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-05-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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