GODS AND DEVILS OF MANKIND - Dobbins, 1897 - RARE SALESMAN / DUMMY COPY PAGAN
Title:GODS AND DEVILS OF MANKIND: A Thrilling Story, Very Copiously Illustrated, Describing the Thousand and One Imaginations of the Brilliant Men of All Ages Groping in Darkness After God; Their Conceptions of the Terrific Powers and Mysterious Influences of Good and Evil Spirits; the Ceremonies and Meaning of the Myriad Forms of Idolatrous Worship; its Evils, Superstitions, Sacrifices, Incantations, Temples, Shrines, etc. — The Whole Dark Picture Strikingly Contrasted with the Beauty and Purity of Revealed Religion
Book Details + Condition: First edition from 1897 of Frank Dobbins' GODS AND DEVILS OF MANKIND. In very good condition: boards and binding are solid and tight; light general shelfwear; smudges / soiling to pale green covers; pages are clean and free of interior markings. 768 pages, followed by ruled blank sheets, along with a sample leather spine pasted on the rear inside board. This is a salesman's sample or dummy book... "These specimen books were used by the itinerant agents of subscription publishers to entice customers to agree to purchase a copy of a work in advance of delivery. This form of marketing was common in America during the years just before and after the Civil War. It was unlike the phenomenon of the same name in the 18th century, when subscription publishing was used to finance or at least to assure the success of an edition prior to printing. A typical specimen book of the 19th century consists of sample sheets in a sample binding. Sometimes these sheets are in a prepublication state and thus may have bibliographic interest. A customer could choose among alternative styles of binding, and a sample book usually includes the spines of available styles mounted inside the covers. The sample book might also include a printed prospectus describing the virtues of the work or edition with recommendations from well-known persons. Most specimen books also include blank forms on which the salesman entered the names, addresses, sometimes occupations, and the number of copies his subscribers agreed to purchase. Subscription forms can provide demographic information on book ownership, if not on actual readership." [American Antiquarian Society]
Profusely illustrated. GODS AND DEVILS OF MANKIND is an illustrated 19th-century examination of the pagan gods, devils, demons and evil spirits worshipped by mankind throughout the ages — “the whole dark picture," as the author puts it. This groundbreaking study — one of the first of its kind — also covers idols, temples, shrines and, sacred places, incantations, sacrifices, customs, legends and myths. It was published in the same decade as Frazer’s "Golden Bough."