Here is another wonderful one , I think Dunton would call me “A Letter-monger” He suggest that Books are a mere Drug (sounding like Marx?)
The Secretary of Fate takes his place (reminding me of Mallarme´”Un Coup de Des)”
Also are mentioned Thomas Hobbs,”moonshine” (drinking the moon) It is an all around incredible book.
304J John Dunton1659-1733
The Visions of the Soul, before it comes into the Body, in several dialogues. Written by a member of the Athenian Society.
London: Printed for John Dunton, at the Raven in the Poultry, 1692 $ 2,900
Octavo A4, B-K8, L4 (leaf C4 signed B4.) First edition. Bound in full contemporary tan roan, professionally and very smartly rebacked with modern matching calf spine, red lettering piece. Pages browned, early ownership inscription to top corner of title page, a few contemporary notes in faded brown ink. A clean and sound copy of a very scarce item.
Much more than a satire of metempsychosis and pre-existence, It s a fine and outrageously amusing example of dialogues
In the first imaginative dialogue
“The secretary of Fate” predicts that the “Author’s soul” will “commence Temporality” in June 1664!
Further dialogues are :
III between the Spirits off a Bastard and a Necromancer
V Between Rational and Vegitable
IX between an Astrologer and a Mountebank
XIX Between the Parcæ (viz. Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos) and a Book-Seller
This is a wonderfully amusing book,there are two diagrams representing aspects of our solar system. One of these may be the earliest printed visual pun showing the earth, moon and sun, which when turned on its side becomes a comic face in profile.
This work blends ideas from theology, witchcraft and astronomy.
Dunton, the compiler of this work, was something of a rake, he was a printer and author, and he manufactured this ‘Athenian Society’ under the auspices of which this work is published. Dunton also travelled to New England, and wrote a book with the great title: The Art of Living Incognito. “The Young Student’s Library” reviews and synopsizes all of the interesting books that have been recently published (circa 1692).
The books are great, and Dunton’s style is polished, lovely prose which makes for an easily enjoyed read. He writes about Hook’s Micrographia, Sprat’s History of the Royal Society, and a few works by Boyle. It is a very enjoyable book by an interesting author.
Wing (2nd ed., 1994), D2634 Stephen Parks “John Dunton” #162.
I have been selling books printed before 1700 since1991. Please feel free to contact with any early book questions, I'll try and answer them. Jamesgray2@me.com