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Catastrophe magnatum: Or, the Fall of Monarchie. A Caveat to Magistrates, Deduced From the Eclipse of the Sunne, March 29. 1652. With a Probably Conjecture of the Determination of the Effects.
4to. (6), 76 pp. With woodcut title illustration and 2 woodcuts in the text. Sewn and disbound.
Only edition; rare. Published on occasion of the total solar eclipse of 29 March (8 April) 1652, the so-called "Black Monday". The English botanist and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper (1616-54) was one of the "Fifth Monarchy Men", a Puritan sect whose members expected a fifth and final empire to follow the execultion of Charles II in 1649. In anticipation of the Second Coming of the Messiah, Culpeper writes: "Jupiter delights in equality, and so do I" (p. 10).
"Culpeper published two Black Monday tracts, one before the event, 'The Year of Wonders', and one after, 'Catastrophe magnatum'. Both explicitly declared that Black Monday would usher in the Fifth Monarchy [...] Culpeper's writings had a particularly broad impact" (Osler).
Slight waterstaining; 3 ff. show loss to upper corner (not touching text). Trimmed fairly closely with loss to year of printing on title page.
Wing C 7485. M. J. Osler, Rethinking the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge 2000), p. 143.