Daniel Defoe is most mentioned in 2020 as the author of his plague memoir, but in 1727 he also wrote about ghosts, and relates many tales, 'true' ghost stories, and anecdotes of those who experienced apparitions. This work, written in the Enlightenment, is a an important juncture in the periods of belief, being written in the famed eighteenth-century rationality and 'reason'. As such, the work is the subject of a scholarly article, namely Maximillian Novak's 'Defoe’s Spirits, Apparitions and the Occult'. Defoe writes as a semi-skeptic; he allows for the possibility of spirits which, after all, are attested in the Bible, but he disparages excessive gullibility and superstitious delight and fear of them. His ambivalence demonstrates the competing belief structures of the era. This is volume 13 in the series, 'The Novels and Miscellaneous Works of Daniel Defoe', and was published in 1840.
Oxford: Printed by D.A. Talboys for Thomas Tegg, 73 Cheapside, London 1840. Hardback, xv+392 pages.
Edition, volume and condition. Vol XIII of the Novels and Miscellaneous Works: THE HISTORY AND REALITY OF APPARITIONS (The Secrets of the Invisible World Disclos'd or,an Universal History of Apparitions Sacred and Profane, Under all Denominations; Whether Angelical, Diabolical etc... Daniel Defoe. London: D.A. Tallboys. 1840. First collected single volume edition. Bound in contemporary half red leather over cloth boards. Titled in gilt to spine. Wear and scuffing to extremities. Small section of loss to head of spine. Front inner hinge repaired, bookplates to front pastedown and flyleaf. Some weakening to inner stitching, repaired to at least one area. Internally clean, a very good copy of an important book, with some signs of wear and use.