John B. Fascination, or the philosophy of charming [.] Illustrating
the principles of life in connection with spirit and matter. New York: Fowlers
& Wells, 1848. 12mo (19.2 cm, 7.5"). Frontis., 176, [12 (adv.)] pp.; illus.
Click the middle or righthand image for an enlargement.
First edition, early issue (stated “six thousand”): The wonders of Mesmerism, magnetism, and hypnosis, presented in a series of
discussions between a doctor and a lady. A piece of flute music, allegedly recorded by a somnambulist accustomed to improvise brilliantly on his flute while sleepwalking, is included as a demonstration of the marvels of “fascination”; the work is also illustrated with a number of anatomical in-text woodcuts — including a well-labelled skeleton.
Binding: Signed cloth binding by S. Middlebrook of New York: covers blind-stamped, front cover with gilt-stamped vignette of a bearded hypnotist and his female subject; the word “FASCINATION” curves rather ambiguously above them. Spine with gilt-stamped title and arabesque designs.
Publisher’s cloth as described above, gilt rubbed, corners bumped and a bit worn, spine sunned and with cloth chipped over foot. Front fly-leaf with pencilled ownership inscription. Mild to moderate foxing.
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