The Scarce First English Edition

    [Salem Witch Trials]. Increase Mather. A Further Account of the Tryals of the New England Witches. London: J. Dunton, 1693. First English edition. Small quarto. [iv], 10, [iv], 40, [4, Postscript], [4, ads] pages. Separate title-page for Cases of Conscience, as issued. Bound by Riviere and Son in nineteenth-century brown levant morocco, gilt central lozenge, spine lettered in gilt, five raised bands, gilt board edges and turn-ins. Binding worn, front board nearly detached, rear joint cracking, a few leaves trimmed a bit close. Bookplate of E. M. Cox. A very good copy of this scarce item with advertisements intact.

    This London edition is prefixed by Deodat Lawson's True Narrative of Some Remarkable Passages Relating to Sundry Persons Afflicted by Witchcraft at Salem Village... It is the earliest account of the Salem Witch Trials, and this is its first British appearance. Appearing for the first time in print is: A Letter to a Gentleman in London (presumably by Lawson), Postscript (by Cotton Mather), and the Preface (by Samuel Willard). This book had tremendous influence in quelling the witch hunting panic and delusion.

    "The Cases of Conscience solved a public problem and pointed a way. The Wonders...dealt with the same problem but offered no solution. The works differed more than the two Mathers themselves believed... The Cases met a public need. The Wonders was 'reviled' because the public mind was no longer curious to follow the trials in that merely reportorial vein in which Cotton Mather described them." (Holmes). Sabin 46687. Holmes 22B. Church 736.

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    September, 2016
    15th Thursday
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