[W. WATTS Rationalism - 2 satirical works] 1830 & 1842

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[William WATTS]. [RATIONALISM - 2 satirical anti-religion works]

Offered for sale by Adam Langlands of 'Shadowrock Rare Books' - for more information please contact him via email at adamlanglands@gmail.com 

[William WATTS (active 1830-1846)]. The Great Dragon Cast Out; or, Paradise Lost: being a full, true, and particular account of the great and dreadful bloodless battle, that was fought in the celestial regions, about 6000 years ago. By the author of “The Yahoo”. London: Paterson’s, Holywell Street, Strand, 1842. 12mo (7 1/8 x 4 1/8in; 181 x 105mm). Pp.[i-]iv-xxxiii[-xxxiv; 35-]36 -107[-108]. Various passages highlighted in pencil.  (Overall light toning, old crease to pp.61/62). Original blue moire’d cloth, spine lettered in gilt, cream glazed endpapers (some soiling and covers lightly affected by damp).

An unrecorded version of a rationalist work issuing from Holywell Street. Holywell was renowned at the time for pornography and radical literature. The author, William Watts, was also responsible for ‘The Yahoo’ – a similar work that is advertised for sale at the back of the present work.

This maybe a ‘pirated’ edition based on the earlier version with a title that starts ‘Paradise Lost ; or, The Great Dragon Cast Out’ (London: 1838). The content seems to be identical but is re-arranged, so that the extensive ‘notes’ are given their own sections.

Versions of this work was subsequently issued in Boston by rationalist publisher, Josiah P. Mendum (1811-1891), and in New York by P. Eckler at the Age of Reason Office

See OCLC 561017453 (the 1838 edition with variant title).


[William WATTS (active 1830-1846)]. The Yahoo; a satirical rhapsody. “New York” [i.e. London?]: “printed and published by H. Simpson”, 1830. Octavo (8 ¼ x 5 ½ in; 209 x 140mm). Pp. [i-]vi-xxvii, [1]; [1-]2-136. Half-title. Original boards (worn, boards detached, backstrip lacking, stitching breaking or broken). Provenance: William Vere (inscription dated 1880).

A satire aimed at parts of the English establishment – the imprint may be spurious, as the typography looks suspiciously English?  The ‘Yahoo’ were the "beasts in human form," mentioned in Swift's Gulliver's Travels. This work, a heavily annotated poetical treatise, concentrates its fire on England's religious and literary culture.        (2)

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