Dom Augustin CALMETDissertations sur les apparitions des anges, des démons & des esprits, et sur les revenants et vampires de Hongrie, de Bohème, de Moravie et de Silésie.
Paris, chez De Bure l'aîné, 1746.
Small 8vo, contemporary full calf, blind fillets around sides, smooth spine gilt, red edges. XXXVIpp. (including title), 500pp., 2 unnumbered leaves Catalogue des livres qui se vendent chez De Bure l’aîné. Complete.
First Edition, rare.
Important work of the famed French Benedictine scholar, regarded as one of the earliest French publications on vampires. Dom Augustin Calmet (1672-1757) devoted most of his life to studying the Bible and was one of the greatest exegetists of his time. News of the vampire cult in Eastern Europe intrigued him and he began collecting information on it, publishing the present work which was an instant success. He approached the subject with an open-mindedness that earned him criticisms from skeptics. Still, he found vampires a mystery and sought to find the answers to that mystery. Questions that obsessed him the most concerned whether vampires were really dead, and how they managed to exit and reenter their graves. If vampires were dead, and not persons buried alive who somehow found their way out of their graves, then humanity was forced to consider what power reanimated the corpses, Calmet said. If demons were responsible, they could not do so on their own power, but only with the permission of God. Therefore, God was responsible for unleashing vampires upon the living, but why he did so remained a mystery, he said (Rosemary Guiley, The Encyclopaedia of Vampires).
A very good copy.
Ref. Caillet, Manuel bibliographique des sciences psychiques ou occultes, 1964 / Coumont, Demonology and Witchcraft, C7-1 / Dorbon, Bibliotheca Esoterica, 610 / Yve-Plessis, Sorcellerie, 519