Satan’s Invisible World Discovered; or, a choice collection of modern relations, proving evidently against the atheists of this present age, that there are devils, spirits, Witches and Apparitions, from authentic Records, Attestations of Witnesses of undoubted Veracity. To which is added, that marvellous history of major Weir and his sister, the Witches of Bargarran, Pittenweem and Calder, &c.

  • Sinclair, George
  • Edinburgh: Printed by Alex M'caslan 1769
  • ESTC T47082; Ferguson 54.

£750

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Description

12mo, pp. 294 [recte 204], iii, [1]. Table of contents bound at end. Contemporary sprinkled sheep, spine divided by raised bands. Poor-quality paper browned and spotted, a few corners torn, some small marginal stains. Binding rubbed (especially spine) and worn, joints cracked but cords sound, spine ends defective. Ownership inscription of Edward Alexander of Stirling, 1785, to flyleaf.

Notes

An unsophisticated copy of the third surviving edition (first 1685, second 1746) of this compilation of Scottish reports of witchcraft, demonic appearances, and other such devilish subjects, intended to refute atheism. Ferguson notes that this 'edition contains the additional Relations about the witches of Renfrewshire, Pittenweem, Calder, &c., which were subsequent to Sinclair's first edition' which may appear here for the first time - these additions are also reported by the editor of an 1871 edition to be present in a printing of 1764 (Ferguson 53), but Ferguson indicates that he had not seen such an edition and it is not recorded by ESTC. The 1764 record could be a ghost (appropriately enough) caused either by a swapped digit for 1746 (the second surviving edition, also unseen by Ferguson), or a mistranscription of 1769 from Roman numerals.from an error for 1746, the second edition which does mention the additional relations on the title-page (but which Ferguson had also not seen), or a mistranscription of 1769 from Roman numerals.
The author George Sinclair (d. 1696) was a mathematician and engineer, inventor of an early perpetual motion machine, and plagiarist. The text had a long afterlife - presumably helped by the attention-grabbing title - and was abridged into a chapbook in the 19th century, but all pre-1800 editions are scarce. ESTC locates copies of this one in five locations (BL, Dr Williams's Library, Glasgow, NLS, and the Lilly).

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