Sunday, 27 February 2011
The Daemon of Tedworth
The Tedworth case features prominently in Joseph Glanvill's book Saducismus Triumphatus: Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions, published posthumously in 1681. A facsimile of the first volume of this work is available online, but unfortunately the Tedworth "Case Study" appears in Volume 2!
Glanvill's book has another claim to fame, in that it was one of the shudderingly blasphemous tomes referred to by H .P. Lovecraft. Aficionados of HPL will be familiar with the way he scattered book references (both real and fictitious) throughout his stories. The following is taken from "The Festival" (1925):
"...I saw that the books were hoary and mouldy, and that they included old Morryster's wild Marvells of Science, the terrible Saducismus Triumphatus of Joseph Glanvill, published in 1681, the shocking Daemonolatreia of Remigius, printed in 1595 at Lyons, and worst of all, the unmentionable Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred..."
The Daemonolatreia is a real book like the Saducismus, while "old Morryster's Marvells of Science" was invented by Ambrose Bierce in his short story "The Man and the Snake" (1890)... and the Necronomicon, of course, is Lovecraft's own most notorious invention.
POSTSCRIPT 1/3/11... Further searching has uncovered an online copy of the second volume of the Saducismus, courtesy of Cornell University. The start of the Tedworth account can be found here. The following quote, referring to the attitude of skeptics, is particularly amusing: "But 'twas bad logick to conclude in matters of fact from a single negative, and such a one against numerous affirmatives... By the same way of reasoning, I may infer that there were never any robberies done on Salisbury Plain, Hounslow Heath, or the other noted places, because I have often travelled all those ways, and yet was never robbed; and the Spaniard inferred well that said there was no Sun in England, because he had been six weeks here, and never saw it."