Friday, August 8, 2014

After the Fact

Hindsight is always 20/20 and that applies to prophecy as well. It's funny how a prophecy "never accurately printed before" 1685 manages to capture the the entirety of an event that happened in 1530. So it is with the complete story of Cardinal Wolsey and his ill-fated and never completed trip to York which appears in our copy of Mother Shipton's Prophesie: with Three and XX more, all most Terrible and Wonderful, Predicting strange Alterations to befall this Climate of England (London: printed for W. Thackeray, at the sign of the Angel in Duck-Lane, neer West-smithfield, [1685]). The title page depicts the event, with Mother Shipton, in all of her ugliness, featured prominently in the center.

The editor or, more likely, author of our copy has helpfully provided historical notes and explanations of many of Mother Shipton's utterances, including anecdotes relating to King James, an anonymous Lord Mayor, and battles between Scotland and England. We're also provided potential confirmation of another prophecy with the note that "There is a Child not many years since born at Pomfret, with three thumbs."

In addition to Mother Shipton's words of warning, the book also includes an additional twenty-three foreshadowings of the past and future. We are treated to "A Prediction of Richard the Third" as well as several entries that could be read as lightly veiled political opinions on the succession of James II after the death of Charles II in 1685.

Ask for Rare Book BF 1777 .M66 1685 to read the "prophesies" yourself.

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