De Betoverde Weereld Zynde een Grondig Ondersoek van't Gemeen Voelen Aangaande Geesten, Deselver Aart en Vermogen, Bewind en Bedrijf: als ook 't gene de Menschen door Deselver Kraght en Gemeenschap Doen.
Amsterdam: Daniel van den Dalen, 1691 - 1693. First Edition Hardcover. Small, Square Quarto. Four "books" in one volume, each with separate title page. Book I: (xvi), 24, 132, (6); Book II: (xii), 262, (ii); Book III: (viii), 188, (ii); Book IV: (vi), 292. Contemporary full leather binding leather. Raised bands, gilt titling and ornate decoration to spine. Gilt designs around the edges of the boards. All edges patterned. Frontispiece portrait of the author, full-page woodcut of a carved drinking horn (Book. 4, p.141), and a few woodcut initials. Signed by the author under the "Bericht" on page [iv]. DUTCH LANGUAGE. A first edition of this important work by Balthasar Bekker (1634 - 1698). Bekker was a Dutch clergyman of German extraction. In his "De betoverde Weereld," ("The World Bewitched") he launched a fierce attack in the belief on sorcery and demonic possession and the witch hunts and trials. His criticisms, which he backed up with Scriptual references, are said to have been more far reaching than those of Johann Weir or Reginal Scot, and his work is regarded as one of the foundation books of the early European Enlightenment. It attracted both interest and controversy and went through several Dutch editions as well as being translated into English, French and German, and also attracted a number of refutations. Bekker was deposed from his ministry, and tried on several blasphemy-related charges, although he was never formally deprived of his post or salary, and despite some local bans his book continued to be sold freely in Amsterdam and through most of the Netherlands.There is a small chip from the leather at the top hinge, and a snag on the second band. Edge rubbed through a points, and gilt work dulled. Text block a little splayed as usual. Frontis piece has been laid town, but is intact. Occasional browning to the text, but the pages are otherwise clean and supple with just a couple of pin-head size worm holes in the margins of a few leaves. Unusually clean and solid copy, and in handsome, solid, early leather binding. VG or better. (Item ID: 37296)