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I lead workshops at the British Library, on literature, language, art, history, and the culture of the book. Author of Discovering Words, Discovering Words in the Kitchen, Evolving English Explored, Team Talk - sporting words & their origins, Trench Talk - the Language of the First World War (with Peter Doyle); How to Cure the Plague; The Finishing Touch. As an artist I work in performance, public engagement, and intervention using drawing, curating, text, changing things and embroidery.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Wonderful news from Buckinghamshire, 1677

A quick post: while looking through Early English Books Online for an early example of a dream book  (more later on that) I came across a truly wonderful title. I give the title page more or less as it appears:


How a young Maid hath been for
Twelve years and upwards possest with the
D E V I L ;
And continues so to this very day in a 
Lamentable Condition.

With an Account of several Discourses with the said Evil
Spirit, and his Answers: attested by Ear-witnesses; and other
strange Circumstances from time to time relating thereunto.
Published for the Awaking and Convincing of Atheists and
modern Sadduces, who dream that there is neither
Angel nor Spirit.
Licensed according to Order
London : Printed for D.M.  1677

Stirring stuff. Apart from the startling difference in the meaning of 'wonderful', I like the 'ear-witnesses' - we have eye-witnesses, so why not ear-witnesses?

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