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    William Turner. The History Of Religions In The World; From the Creation down to this Present Time. in Two Parts...To which is added, A Table of Heresies: As Also A geographical Map, Shewing in what Countrey Each Religion is Practised. London: John Dunton, 1695. Krown & Spellman retail: $500. First edition. 8vo. A-2X8 (16), 684p. 19th-century full black morocco, gilt-lettered spine, inner dentelles gilt, hinges slightly cracked. Title page in red and black ink, old signature crossed out at top in ink. Light foxing and spotting, few small stains. Few small holes and some chipping at outer margins, C1 trimmed at top, no text loss, repair to X4, no text loss, 2U2 clean tear to lower corner. Hemisphere map showing the religions on p. 603, and text cuts. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.


    More Information:

    Turner, William (1652/3-1701), Church of England clergyman and author, was the son of William Turner of Marbury, Cheshire, where he was born. He received his early education from a private tutor and in 1668 went to live in the house of the eminent nonconformist divine Philip Henry at Broad Oak, Flintshire. There he benefited from Henry's instruction, and acted as tutor to the latter's children, Matthew and Sarah. Turner and Henry forged a 'most entire and affectionate friendship' that was nurtured throughout their lives by means of a 'constant and endearing correspondence' (Henry, 122-3). Turner matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 26 March 1669, aged sixteen. He graduated BA in 1672 and MA in 1675. He later took holy orders, becoming vicar of Walberton, Sussex, in 1680, and rector of Binstead in 1697. He died at Walberton, and was buried there on 6 February 1701, leaving a widow, Magdalen, and a son, William, born on 6 June 1693.

    Turner is chiefly known as the author of two works. The first of these, The History of All Religions in the World, was a great compendium of all known faiths and was published by John Dunton in octavo in 1695. The book was written with missionary zeal, and was intended to counter the influence of 'Scepticism and Atheism and Impiety in the World' (Turner, History, preface). A folio edition of Turner's second well-known work, A Compleat History of the most Remarkable Providences, dedicated to John Hall, bishop of Chichester, was printed by Dunton in 1697. This compilation of providential stories that had been sent to Turner 'from divers Parts of the Three Kingdoms' was 'Recommended as useful to Ministers in Furnishing Topicks of Reproof and Exhortation,' as well as to laypersons for their own private edification (Turner, Compleat History, preface). Turner was described by his publisher as 'a Man of wonderful Moderation and of great Piety' (Dunton, 225). As a preacher, he was 'very serious, laborious and useful' (Tong, 21-2). His unusual generosity regarding the publication of his books was also commendable in an age of hack writers: he 'wou'd not receive a Farthing for his Copy till the Success was known' (Dunton, 225). He was described posthumously by Matthew Henry as a 'very worthy conformist.' (Henry, 231Ð2). - Oxford DNB.

              Wing T3347. ESTC: r611, Alden: 685/199,

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    12th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 9
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