Important first edition. With fine provenance, coming from the Wrest Park library of Thomas Philip Earl de Grey, The Lord Grantham from 1786 to 1833, a British Tory politician and statesman, who held office as first Lord of the Admiralty till April 1835, and was a Knight of the Garter. The front paste-down with his engraved armorial bookplate. Later arts and crafts style bookplate of David Laing Philips. With both the imprimatur leaf and final leaf with the printer's note to the reader included; these are often lacking. Folio, handsomely bound in contemporary full calf, sometime ago expertly restored where some loss occurred at the tips or edges, virtually all of the original leather still intact and present, the original spine panel with gilt tooled compartments between wide raised bands, gilt ruled, one compartment with a brown morocco label gilt lettered, the fore-edge with brass clasps still functional, board edges gilt tooled, marbled endpapers. (16), 346, (4) pp. A beautifully preserved copy, the text very fresh, crisp, and especially clean. The calf aged and restored as noted, the binding solid and handsome VERY RARE IN ORIGINAL BINDING. FIRST EDITION AND AN ESPECIALLY SCARCE EARLY WORK DUBUNKING WITCHCRAFT AND RECOGNIZING THE SUPERNATURAL AS PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENA. Webster (1610-1682), had been chaplain and surgeon in the Parliamentary army. He is probably best known for his book entitled Metallographia (1671) which is one of the earliest English works on metallurgy, and based on his experience as a practicing metallurgist in Lancashire. During a time when James 1 had rekindled the belief in demoniacal intervention and possession John Cotta had bravely showed that even otherwise mysterious symptoms did not require invocation of supernatural agencies but could be caused by "the imaginarie". A similar wave of superstition followed after the Restoration, which saw not only a recrudescence of attributing "natural diseases, distempers, and accidents to Witches and Witchcraft", but also to increased demand for cures by "Charms, Pictures, Ceremonies." It was then that John Webster went one step further than Cotta, and showed it was unnecessary to credit supernatural forces even for the effect of charms and incantations, since their "causality and efficiency is solely in the person imaginant and confident of receiving help." It is remarkable to see such an accurate early description of the psychosomatic effect, Webster recognized psychological phenomena which was not fully studied until the later nineteenth century as suggestibility and suggestion, especially under hypnosis. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: DISPLAYING OF SUPPOSED WITCHCRAFT Wherein is...
Publisher: London by J.M. for the Booksellers in London 1677
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