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The Book of Were-Wolves: Being an Account of a Terrible Superstition - Sabine Baring-Gould

1865 - Smith, London - First Edition
Nearly as rare as it’s subjects, a superb first edition of the foundation work on shape-shifting, were-wolves, and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s descriptions of Count Dracula’s wolfish appearance. In original bright pictorial gilt cloth, were-wolf to the front and the dark frontispiece of The Were-Wolves and their prey. Suitably housed in a blood red morocco leather clamshell case, lined with felt, and lettered in gilt.

‘The Book of Were-Wolves takes a rationalistic approach to the subject, the first ten chapters of this book constitute an essential work on the subject; however, starting with Chapter XI, the narrative takes a strange turn into sensationalistic 'true crime' case-studies of cannibals, grave desecrators, and blood fetishists, which have a tenuous connection with lycanthropy. This includes an extended treatment of the case of Giles de Rais, the notorious associate of Joan of Arc, who was convicted and executed for necrosadistic crimes.’

The author, eclectic British scholar, vicar, archaeologist, historian, Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) inspired
My Fair Lady, and wrote the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers. 
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Price HK$ 46,000



An Historical, Physiological and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcrafts, and other Magical Practices - Jonh (John) Beaumont, Gent.

1705 - Printed for D. Browne, London - First Edition
With engraved frontispiece by Michael Van der Gucht of ‘An Evil Genius’, ‘Two Good Genii’, and ‘Jews going out in the Moonshine to know their Fortune’.

John Beaumont, a British surgeon and geologist, ‘was a man of considerable reading, of excessive credulity, and a firm believer in supernatural agency. His principal and certainly most curious performance,
An Historical, Physiological, and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcrafts is written in an amusing, gossiping style, and abounds with grotesque tales and illustrations from little-known authors. His personal experience of spirits, good and bad, was long and varied (pages 91-4, 393-7); but he innocently contrives to lessen the effect of his narration by adding that in their frequent visitations “all would disswade me from drinking too freely”’ - Dictionary of National Bibliography. 
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Price HK$ 17,000



Robertson of Irvine - Poet-Preacher - Arthur Guthrie

1890 - Ardrossan, London - Second Edition
A finely bound copy, illustrated with engraved frontispiece portrait and calotype plate of Trinity Church, Irvine from a photograph.

‘William Irvine (1863-1947) was a Presbyterian evangelist. Born in Kilsyth (North Lanarkshire), the third of eleven children of a miner, Irvine was educated at Kilsyth Academy. He worked as a miner but gave up employment to spend two years at John Anderson's Bible Training College in Glasgow (1893-5).

In 1897, while travelling in Ireland, Irvine founded the mysterious two-by-two itinerant ministry. This evangelical organisation, also known as the 'tramp mission' or 'the church without a name', attracted crowds to open-air missions held across the country. Workers were sent to America and Irvine himself travelled regularly around the globe in the early years of the 20th Century.

Irvine was convinced that the Book of Revelations should be taken literally and that the world was about to come to an end. In 1914, this brought about a schism in the church and Irvine left, along with a few hundred loyal supporters. They became known as the Message People, the Witnesses, or Irvinites. Irvine went on to declare himself a prophet and continued to urge his followers to prepare for the end of the world.

Having suffered from throat cancer, Irvine died in Jerusalem. The church he founded continues today, with up to 500,000 members world-wide.’ - bio provided by
The Gazetteer for Scotland, supported by School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh and The Royal Scottish Geographical Society. 
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Price HK$ 1,500



Mikrokosmos, A Little Description of the Great World - Peter Heylyn [Heylin]

1636 - Printed by William Turner, Oxford - Seventh Edition
In this groundbreaking work, Heylyn attempted to describe in meticulous detail every aspect of the known world in 1621, the geography, climate, customs, achievements, politics, and belief systems. Heylyn had combed through an impressive range of ancient and Renaissance geographical and historical scholarship to construct an ordered description of the globe. Because of the topics it covered, Microcosmus could not but intervene in debates about Church and State’, and Heylyn’s work is ‘notable for his strident anti-Catholicism and attachment to the Protestant cause,’, he condemns the Spanish Inquisition as ‘the greatest tyrannie & severest kind of persecution under heaven’ and the pope described as the Antichrist.’

Heylyn’s work was an enormous success, and went through some nine editions between 1652 and 1639.
[Withers, Lorimer -
Geographers V.28; Milton - Laudian and Royalist Polemic in Seventeenth-Century England] 
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Price HK$ 9,000



Illustrations of the Literature and Religion of the Buddhists - Brian Houghton Hodgson

1841 - Self-published – Bound at the Baptist Mission Press, Serampore - First Edition in Book Form
Hodgson’s rare and important work – the first collected edition of papers on the literature and religion of Buddhism – fifteen in total, originally published in Transactions and Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and London, and which for the first time revealed to the West the Sanskrit literature of northern, or Mahayana, Buddhism, which had been preserved in Nepal. For the collection Hodgson adds a preface and many footnotes.

Features two folding lithographed alphabet tables. Interestingly, Hodgson published this book in Serampore, at the time a Danish colony, it would have been printed at the former Serampore Mission Press, set up by the Baptist missionary William Carey, which closed in 1837 merging with the Baptist Mission Press, where this copy was also bound (see small bookplate to front pastedown).

Hodgson later reprinted 12 of the 15 papers as part one of
Essays on the Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet (1874), the second part being on the tribes and geography of Nepal and Tibet, and in 1880 he published Miscellaneous Essays Relating to Indian Subjects (2 volumes, 1880), containing his papers on Indian languages and ethnology. 
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Price HK$ 16,500



An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding - John Locke

1700 - Printed for Awnsham and John Churchil at The Black-Swan in Pater-Noster-Row, London - Fourth Edition, with large Additions
‘He that would seriously set upon the search of Truth, ought in the first Place to prepare his Mind with a Love of it. For he that Loves it not, will not take much Pains to get it; nor be much concerned when he misses it.’

Fuelled by the arguments of philosopher Francis Bacon, this large and beautifully bound edition of ‘Concerning Humane Understanding’ contains Locke’s essays on the range and limitations of human knowledge in respect to God and the universe. Often regarded as the birthplace of experimental psychology, this is an important and influential work.

The fourth edition was the last to be printed in his lifetime, and includes his editorial changes, as well as two previously unpublished chapters titled, ‘
On the Association of Ideas’ and ‘Enthusiasm’.

With an engraved frontispiece portrait of John Locke by P. Vanderbanck after Sylvester Brounower.
 
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Price HK$ 18,000



Voodoo Fire in Haiti - Richard A. Loederer

1935 - Jarrolds Publishers London Limited, London - First Edition in English
‘The drums took on a different rhythm, rattling out a sharp staccato message, accompanied by the heavy pounding of the bass. Faster and faster flew the feet of the dancers as they whirled round the fire. Their smooth muscles writhed and cramped as under the blows of an invisible whip.’

From his steamer voyage from Jazz Age New York to Cap Haitien to his punishing trek through the island's interior jungle to his rapt, yet fearful, attendance at an authentic voodoo ceremony, Loederer captures the sights, sounds, and sensations of this mysterious Caribbean republic.

A selection of the magnificent chapter headings tell all... Congo Bean Stew; Massacre River; Jungle Magic; Tropical Fever; Polychromata; Black Magic; Voodoo Fire.

Illustrated by fifty one of the author's own art deco-style woodcuts, and his wonderful piratical map of Haiti used for the endpapers, which only add to the exotic appeal.
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



Western Tibet and the British Borderland - Charles A. Sherring, T.G. Longstaff

1906 - Edward Arnold, London - First Edition
A handsome first edition of this important work on Western Tibet, Sherring’s account of his exploration through the region during the summer of 1905, profusely illustrated with numerous photographic illustrations, together with two folding maps and a chapter by T.G. Longstaff, of the Alpine Club, describing an attempt to climb the 25,350 foot summit of Gurla Mandhata.

Sherring’s journey took him through Mount Kailas, the sacred lake of Mansarowar, Kangra, Garhwal, Almora, the Kedarnath, Badrinath and adjoining territories. His narrative describes legends and myths of the holy lands, the religions and customs of the Tibetans, Hindus and Bhotias, agriculture, government, and trade routes.
 
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Price HK$ 9,000



 
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