Demonology and Devil-Lore (Two volumes).
CONWAY, Moncure Daniel.
London: Chatto and Windus, 1880. Second revised Hardcover. 8vos. Two volumes. xvi + 428 pp & xii+ 478pp (ipp advert). Original brown cloth with gilt titling and rules to spine, blind rules & gilt "demon" to upper boards, beveled edges, b&w illustrations, index. An extensive study of demon-lore. In the Preface to the First Edition of this work, Conway observed that "The natural world is overlaid by an unnatural religion, breeding bitterness around simplest thoughts, obstructions to science, estrangements not more reasonable than if they resulted from varying notions of lunar figures, all derived from the Devil-bequeathed dogma that certain beliefs and disbeliefs are of infernal instigation. Dogmas molded in a fossil demonology make the foundation of institutions which divert wealth, learning, enterprise, to fictitious ends." Conway's investigations into Devil-lore were thus undertaken from the perspective that the superstitions and practices that had grown out of belief in the devil, his influence, and infernal hordes, still had a major, and generally negative influence on the way humanity shaped its affairs. In the course of exploring this thesis, he produced this major and almost encyclopaediatic study of devil-lore. Moncure Daniel Conway (1832 - 1907), was an American abolitionist, clergyman, author and humanitarian, who in later life embraced the ideals of Free-thought, and moved away from the established Church. A prolific writer, in addition to the present work, Conway wrote a well-known biography of Thomas Paine, several books on the subject of emancipation, and edited & contributed to a number of journals and newspapers. Spine ends bumped and a little chafed, corners chafed with some very light fraying, cloth lightly rubbed overall with some faint spots and a few light scratches, a few light bumps to edges. Page edges darkened and lightly foxed, pages lightly thumbed, paper lightly browned at margins with occasional very light foxing, text unmarked. Volume I: Half inch closed tear to cloth at upper spine, front endpapers split at inner hinge with some chipping of paper and glue residue from repair, hinge sound. Still, overall a solid, unmarked about VG set of a scarce printing. (Item ID: 39348)