1668 · London
Glanvill's curious, long-evolving defense of the existence of witchcraft and black magic — a work recorded in Pepys's diary as having been much enjoyed by him and his wife, although not entirely convincing to them. This treatise offers various reasons both philosophical and empirical to sway those skeptical of the reality of black magic, including anecdotal stories about witchery's effects; it later informed Cotton Mather's Discourse on Witchcraft.
The title-page calls this a corrected and enlarged fourth edition; it is actually a => much-revised version of the work Glanvill originally published in 1666 as A Philosophical Endeavour towards the Defence of the Being of Witches and Apparitions, which was in turn revised and republished in 1667 as Some Philosophical Considerations Touching the Being of Witches and Witchcraft, before being printed in the form here twice in 1668; from 1681 onwards, the work was known as Sadducismus Triumphatus. The Philosophical Endeavour portion of the present edition has a separate title-page (dated 1668), as do the other two sections, Palpable Evidence of Spirits and Witchcraft: In an Account of the Fam'd Disturbance by the Drummer, in the House of M. Mompesson, and A Whip for the Droll, Fidler to the Atheist: Being Reflections on Drollery & Atheism.
Provenance: Front fly-leaf with elegantly written 17th-century inked inscription (in Latin) noting the book was a gift to "Gulielmo Seeke" from William Pudsey, a graduate of Lincoln College, Oxford; below the inscription Seeke has calligraphically signed his name in English. First main text page with early inked inscription of Joseph Moses; title-page rubber-stamped by the Charles Holbrook Library of the Pacific School of Religion (properly released, with bookplate laid in).
Coumont, Demonology and Witchcraft, G38.3; ESTC R21168; Wing (rev. ed.) G800–819. Period-style speckled calf, framed in double blind fillets, spine with gilt-stamped title-label, blind-ruled raised bands, and blind-tooled compartment decorations. Ex-library as above, title-page verso with rubber-stamped numeral and shadow of pencilled numeral, one text page with rubber-stamp in lower margin, touching one word without obscuring sense. Pp. 121/22 supplied in fine facsimile. Faint age-toning and occasional light spotting, with offsetting to margins of first and last few leaves; short tear in upper margins of first two leaves of dedication. => A solid and handsomely bound copy of a frankly spellbinding text. (Inventory #: 36381)