(ST16439) A TREATISE OF DREAMS & VISIONS . . . TO WHICH IS ADDED, A DISCOURSE OF THE CAUSES, NATURES AND CURE OF PHRENSIE, MADNESS OR DISTRACTION. MADNESS, THOMAS TRYON.
A TREATISE OF DREAMS & VISIONS . . . TO WHICH IS ADDED, A DISCOURSE OF THE CAUSES, NATURES AND CURE OF PHRENSIE, MADNESS OR DISTRACTION.

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A Very Rare Copy of an Early Attempt to Explain the Causes of Psychosis, And an Early Outcry against the Treatment of the Mentally Disturbed

A TREATISE OF DREAMS & VISIONS . . . TO WHICH IS ADDED, A DISCOURSE OF THE CAUSES, NATURES AND CURE OF PHRENSIE, MADNESS OR DISTRACTION.

(London: Printed and sold by T. Sowle, in White-Hart-Court Gracious-street, 1695). 147 x 93 mm. (5 3/4 x 3 5/8"). 8 p.l. (first blank), 299, [1] pp., [2] leaves (ads). Second Edition.

18th century sprinkled sheep, smooth spine divided into panels by gilt rules, red morocco label (repairs to joints and backstrip). Occasional early underlinings in red. Durling 11991 (1st ed,); Wing T-3198; ESTC R204413. Shallow chip to head of spine, negligible loss of leather at tail of rear joint, extremities lightly rubbed, leaves trimmed a little close at head (but never touching text) and with faint browning to edges and other trivial imperfections (an occasional corner crease, a minor marginal smudge, a small rust spot), but a fine copy internally nevertheless, the text clean and fresh, and in a sound early binding that is not at all displeasing.

First printed in 1689, this is a rare early attempt to explain the causes of psychosis, and a pioneering critique of the treatment of the mentally disturbed. Tryon (1634-1703) here examines "the causes, natures, and uses of nocturnal representations, and the communications both of good and evil angels, as also departed souls, to mankinde," this all being "theosophically unfolded, that is, according to the word of God, and the harmony of created beings." To this, Tryon has added a "discourse of the causes, natures, and cure of phrensie, madness, or distraction." The author began studying astrology and mysticism as an apprentice hatter, being particularly influenced by the works of Jacob Boehme; he became a vegetarian, a pacifist, and an advocate of silent mediation and self-denial, and he wrote books on diet and health, mystical philosophy, education, slavery, and how to live on a small income. An outgrowth of his study of mysticism, the present work on dreams has a substantial section on madness, which Tryon includes because he claims that madness resembles a dream--more specifically, madness is like a dream experienced by a person while awake. He says that the cause of most madness is the indulgence in violent passions, which destroys the inward senses of the soul so it can no longer keep its balance. He is especially critical of contemporary cruelties to those suffering from this disturbance of mind, such as the practice of exhibiting the inmates of the insane asylum Bedlam to public view as a kind of freak show. All editions of the work are rare: RBH lists just one copy of this edition (in 1950), and of the 1689 edition, only one copy (lacking initial leaf and with serious condition issues) has appeared at auction in the past half century.
(ST16439)

Price: $5,500.00

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