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1691 - Analysis of Witchcraft, Magic & Demonology - Signed

1691 - Analysis of Witchcraft, Magic & Demonology - Signed


Balthasar Bekker (1634-1698) was Dutch Minister, Author of Philosophical and Theological Works, and Contributor to the end of Witchcraft Persecutions in Europe. Student of the rationalist Cartesian school, Bekker publicly decried the witch trials as superstition fighting superstition and even publicly doubted the existence of the Devil. This led to his immediate censure and was immediately tried for blasphemy.  By comparing other religions on the topic of magic and witchcraft, Bekker was also among the earliest academics to study what we now call comparative religion.  As one might imagine, the book caused a sensation and grouped Bekker with the skeptical camp of Hobbes, Meyer and Spinoza.  Though, he seems to have relished the publicity and signed his books - something rare in the day - seemingly out of defiance of censors and magistrates. An excellent analysis of the demonology, law and witchcraft trials in the twilight of the nightmare, rare with autographs.  


1691. De Betoverde Weereld (The Bewitched World). Amsterdam. Printed by Daniel Van Den Dalen, in contemporary vellum over boards, w/ author inked title on spine. First Edition. Author Signed Twice, printed in Fraktur font, Dutch language. Historic "Witchcraft" Book, "De Betoverde Weereld (The Bewitched World), Signed Internally TWICE by the Author, Balthasar Bekker, published in Amsterdam, by Daniel Van Den Dalen. Author’s Signatures located on the reverse of the title page for the second volume, and at the end of the introduction to the fourth volume. Lacks the third book title page and the engraved portrait of Bekker (typical), but otherwise complete. Browning typical to the time, with expected light soiling to vellum but mostly clean pages. Loose gatherings at the beginning of book three with page two partially detached. There are minor pencil notations in the back. Fair copy, heavily read and with rare autographs. An opportunity to own an important 17th century book on witchcraft, magic and demonology in less than perfect condition.

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