Celtic Researches (First edn)
This important work, in its 1804 first edition, is from the druidic 'recovery' movement of the early 19th century. Edward Davies (1756-1831) was a Welsh writer and Anglican clergyman, and a contemporary of Iolo Morganwg, with whom he had a bitter intellectual rivalry.
Celtic Researches, On the Origin, Traditions & Language of The Ancient Britons... is dedicated to correlating Celtic myth-history with biblical history, to place the Celts within the Judeo-Christian schema. More specifically, Edwards believed that 'what is found in all ancient mythology is the pure patriarchal religion corrupted in the period which came after the Deluge'. Thus this work sits with the works of fellow 'patriarchal religionists' of druidism, William Stukeley and Jacob Bryant. For all of them, the oldest religion of the British Isles was a druidism which was pure unsullied religion - a superior precursor to Christianity.
This wonderful first edition of Edwards' self-published work is an important work for the serious collector.
Publication. Edward Davies. London: Printed for The Author. 1804. First Edition. 566pp. + 2pp. advertisements.
Volume and condition. Bound in original publisher's brown paper covered boards, slight weakening to hinges and some rubbing and wear to edges and extremities, slight chipping to the head of the spine and some wear to the original paper title label, nevertheless it cannot be understated how delightfully stubborn this volume is to have survived in its original publisher's boards for 216 years. Strong and handsome, a very good copy indeed. Internally clean, edges untrimmed, a delightful copy of a scarce book.