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BREWSTER, Sir David (1781--1868)
Letters on natural magic, addressed to Sir Walter Scott, Bart. By Sir David Brewster, K.H. ...
London: John Murray, 1832.
xi, [1], 351, [1] p. : 79 wdcut illus. ; 15.2 cm. (8º)

Forms no. XXXIII of Murray's (later Tegg's) 'Family Library'. Figures 26 and 28 are overlays on fig. 25 (p. 119) and fig. 27 (p. 121), illustrating the apparent motion of the eyes in portraits. David Brewster depended upon his literary efforts for his income rather than his scientific work. This is one of his popular works in which he explains from a scientific basis ancient and modern phenomena viewed by many as "magical", including conjures, magic tricks, automatons, walking on burning coals, calculating machines and illusions, and demonstrating how a knowledge of optics and sound can explain what had previously been perceived as mysterious. See A.D. Morrison-Low & J.R.R. Christie (eds.), Martyr of science: Sir David Brewster, 1781-1863: proceedings of a bicentenary symposium [1981] (Edinburgh 1984).

Copy Notes With a four-page publisher's list bound in at the front as issued (q.v.); tipped onto the front page of this insertion is a further a notice informing subscribers of the imminent completion of the Family Library "in accordance with the original plan" dated 1 August 1832 (q.v.). Bookseller's label on front pastedown reading 'Sold by T. & W. Boone'.

Binding Publisher's grey cloth with title printed on upper cover: 'The Family Library. No. XXXIII. Natural Magic, By Sir David Brewster. ... Price Five Shillings'; and list of titles on lower cover; spine with printed series title 'Natural Magic. 5s. Family Library. No. XXXIII'.

Reference Number 596


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