Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbel, the famous Deaf and Dumb Gentleman.
Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbel, the famous Deaf and Dumb Gentleman.

Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbel, the famous Deaf and Dumb Gentleman.

London: J. Millan, at the Green Door, the Corner Of Buckingham-Court; and J. Chrichley, at the London-Gazette, Charing-Cross, 1732. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo. [viii] + 240pp. Full leather, original patterned calf boards, skillfully rebacked by London craft binder Bernard C. Middleton. Raised bands and gilt stamped leather title-label to spine. Engraved portrait frontispiece, second title-page preceding Appendix. The work ostensibly chronicles the remarkable life of Duncan Campbell (1680?-1730) a Scottish deaf-mute and professed prophet and soothsayer, but in fact much of it is a discussion of various aspects of the occult, this material supposedly included to put Campbell's life in its proper context. Thus of the fifteen chapters only five might be termed largely autobiographical. Of the remainder, Chapter I is "Of Fortune-telling in General", Chapter IV is "On Witchcraft"; Chapter VI is "On Omens: Which are to be Depended on and Which Not"; Chapter VII, "On Predestination"; Chapter VIII is "On the Power of Sympathy"; Chapter IX is "On the Difference between Natural and Diabolical Magic"; Chapter X is "On Apparitions"; Chapter XI is "On the Genii"; Chapter II is "On the Second-Sight"; Chapter XIII is "On the Virtues of the Loadstone, and Some Other Choice Curiosities in Nature." The work is now generally attributed to Eliza Heywood, most likely working from notes that had been prepared by Daniel Defoe prior to his own death in 1731. Defoe had of course earlier published "The History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan Campbell" (1720) which he probably co-wrote with William Bond, possibly with assistance from Eliza Haywood, and Haywood had written her own "A Spy upon the Conjurer: or, a Collection of Surprising Stories, ... relating to Mr. Duncan Campbell", (1724). From the collection of Dr. M. H. Coleman, with his ex-libris seal blind-stamped on the second front blank page. Fresh endpapers. The boards have extensive cracking to the surface glaze, which actually gives the book a pleasing "antique" look and in no way effects their sturdiness. The preliminaries are just a little darkened in places, as are the page edges. Still internally remarkably bright and fresh, and a lovely tight, VG+ copy. Item #49474

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