[Witchcraft] Saducismus Triumphatus | 1681, first edition of one of the most important works on witchcraft, ghosts and demons.

£5,500.00 GBP

This example was featured recently in The Washington Post. Learn more here.

The 1681 first edition of Joseph Glanvill's Saducismus Triumphatus: or, Full and Plain Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions, one of the most important works on witchcraft, ghosts and demons in which the writer sought to provide empirical evidence for their existence.

Saducismus is a key and influential work in the history of Witchcraft for a number of reasons, the most notable of these being the malignant hold it had over Cotton Mather, who presided over the Salem Witch Trials. It is no stretch to say this book influenced the outcome of those ghastly trials. Mather even modelled his 1693 book Wonders of the Invisible World on the reports in this book, particularly the material relating to the Mora witch trial of 1669. In the 20th century we find Saducismus referenced by both H. P. Lovecraft and Shirley Jackson (The Festival and The Lottery and Other Stories) and if two of the most important horror writers wasn't enough, the title Saducismus Triumphatus is painted on the walls of the secret passage in Dario Argento's iconic cult Witchcraft film Suspiria (this book dealers personal favourite film to watch at Halloween!).

Saducismus features the first recorded poltergeist report, the infamous Drummer of Tedworth incident, a woodcut of which can be seen in the ominous and highly sought after frontispiece, alongside six further examples of the evidence of witchcraft: The drummer of Tedworth; the Somerset witch Julian Cox; rendezvous of witches at Trister Gate; a celestial apparition in Amsterdam; the Scottish witch Margaret Jackson; and the levitation of Richard Jones at Shepton Mallet. Seriously, this woodcut gives me chills!

It is rare to find the true first edition (all other examples on the market currently are second editions or later) but it is rarer still to find a copy in contemporary 17th century boards, of which this copy has.

Description and Condition:

First edition in 2 parts bound in one volume. Contemporary calf boards with a re-backed calf spine. There is wear to the boards, notably to the edges in which some of the calf has worn away. The spine is pristine with both title and date in gilt. Internally the book is incredibly fresh with only the most minor of foxing - I have to say, I am rather surprised at how fresh it is. To the second part, there is one only (of 2) engraved frontispieces depicting The Drummer of Tedworth and other incidents of Witchcraft. One of the best copies a collector could hope for of this highly important work.

Published by Faithorne, J. Collins and S. Lownds, London 1681.