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“Timothy Tugmutton” pseud. [Manuscript Book of Unpublished Comic Tales]

“Timothy Tugmutton” pseud. [Manuscript Book of Unpublished Comic Tales]

  • £45000

[United States?]: [1875].

8vo, 17cm, c.66 ff (of which 16 ff. blank), several hand-drawn text illustrations. Original black limp morocco (slight bowing to boards), flat spine (small loss at head), boards alike with single gilt filet border. Bookseller’s ticket of Mackern Hermanos, Libreria Inglesa, Calle San Martin 48, Buenos Aires.

This charmingly eccentric manuscript, divided into three works with some quotations from Pope’s Essay on Criticism, stated to be written by the clearly pseudonymous Timothy Tugmutton. The first, of some 6500 words, sees our author discourse comically and intelligently on curiosity and takes us on a very literary ramble through this seemingly fictional autobiographical history of his own curiosity and his motivations. These involve meeting a friend of similar persuasions, love interest, love rivalry and more.

The Second, on SPIRITUALISM, of some 2000 words, is of significant interest in collecting contemporary writings on Spiritualism, which had reached the Zenith of 19th century popular interest before debunking began to challenge the practices in the 1880’s. It includes a transcription of Robert Dale Owen’s tale of spirit raising and automatic writing, The Maid and Cook, following this is a short piece which comments on the practice of mediumistic drawing as illustrated in Allan Kardec’s The Spirits Book. This is illustrated with detailed copies of the original illustrations. The author then goes on and DESCRIBES AN ABSOLUTELY BIZARRE TABLE RAPPING SEANCE IN WHICH HE PARTICIPATES SUMMONING THE DEPARTED WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, who then obligingly signs his name, suggests improvements to Macbeth, answers questions on his favourite music “Greensleeves”, favourite flower, etc..various other characters such as Luther, Voltaire & Giovanni di Medici. Notes to interpret the references are also provided. The final piece, is a comic discourse on babies of some 800 words.

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