18 December 2003
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MR. & MRS. LEO S. BING
LAVATER, Ludwig (1527-1586). 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, & alterations of kyngdomes. Translated by R. Harrison. London: Henry Benneyman for Richard Watkyns, 1572.
4o (184 x 133 mm). Woodcut title border, woodcut initials. (Lower blank corner of C3 torn away.) Modern green morocco, edges gilt, by Stikeman. Provenance: Herman Le Roy Edgar (armorial bookplate).
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION. Lavater was the Chief Pastor of the Calvinist Church of Zurich. The main argument of his book is that, after making the fullest allowance for ocular illusion, hallucination, and jugglers' tricks, there can be no doubt that genuine ghosts do really appear. All literature, sacred and profane, as well as an abundance of experiences among men now living, put this beyond all possible doubt. The original edition in German was published in 1569; its popularity was immediate and it was soon translated into Latin and French. The present edition is credited as a source for Shakespeare's Hamlet. STC 15320.
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