Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Sign from Above?

title page of Prodigies & Apparitions showing  conjoined wins holding a banner with the title on it. in the background is a depitciton of a battle in the heavensIn the 1600s, a prodigious snowstorm like the one forecast for today might not have been seen as a classic "Nor'easter," but as a warning from a greater power. We just cataloged a very cool little book from 1643 that describes a series of events that the author saw as signs of future doom: Prodigies & Apparitions; or, England's Warning Pieces (London: Bates and Markland, [1643]).

Image of a church busting into flames during service as a fireball from the sky strikes it during a stormAmong the descriptions are examples of lightning striking churches, the birth of conjoined twins, and a battle in the heavens. England had a lot to be concerned with at the time. Charles I was fighting for his crown, a battle he lost a few years later, and then lost his head over in 1649. It was a tumultuous time in English politics that tore the society apart. As this book indicates, the warning signs were there for anyone with a sharp eye.

A depiction of a battle in the heavens. A black ston is falling form the sky chased by a dog
I guess we should watch out! To see the warnings of another era, ask for Hickmott 516.