I am delighted that Ron Charles, The Washington Post Books Editor, selected two books from the Bayliss collection for a Halloween round up! Full text below:

If you’re still digging around the graveyard for the perfect Halloween gift for the ghoul of your dreams, Bayliss Rare Books in London may have just the magic book:

  • “Saducismus Triumphatus: or, Full and Plain Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions” (1681) is a foundational text in the “science” of investigating witchcraft. It was written by an English clergyman named Joseph Glanvill, who argued that denying the existence of witches was akin to denying the reality of the spiritual world. Even if you haven’t read “Saducismus Triumphatus” recently, you’d recognize the book’s now iconic wood engravings of demons getting up to no good. More importantly, Glanvill’s book mesmerized the American minister Cotton Mather, the great apologist for the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 and 1693. Thanks for that, Joe! Oliver Bayliss is offering a rare first edition of “Saducismus Triumphatus” for the satanically rich price of $6,794 (details). 
  • “The Mysteries of Udolpho,” by Ann Radcliffe, is an early landmark in the history of Gothic literature. Published in 1794, the story of a young woman who gets trapped in an Italian castle was a sensational bestseller in its day and the source of many of the most persistent tropes of spooky literature. I haven’t read “The Mysteries of Udolpho,” but I know its shadow because it’s the inspiration for Jane Austen’s 1817 satirical novel, “Northanger Abbey.” Bayliss is offering a first Dublin edition of Radcliffe’s novel in three volumes for $3,706 (details). 


October 30, 2023 — Oliver Bayliss
Tags: Press