Bizarre, Eccentric and Strange Books from Garrett Scott
A tragic tale is told in The Sacrifice of Madaline: From Earth to Glory by a Skyrocket, a 1905 book by P.W. Walthall. Minna Madaline Marie Ashley was a pious 19-year-old teacher (how did she become a teacher at that age?) when fate tragically drew her to a fireworks show. A poorly aimed skyrocket brought the young lady to her demise. "The sharp point of the deadly missile struck her squarely in the left eye and buried itself in her brain. It was so tightly wedged in that it took two men to pull it out of her head." Perhaps they should have left the job to a surgeon. Item 151. $75.
Miss Ashley was not the only one to suffer such a tragic fate. Abner Cunningham relays what happened to a bunch of free thinkers in Practical Infidelity Portrayed and the Judgments of God Made Manifest (1836). As he explains, a group of free thinking men in late 18th century New York, who "claimed a right to indulge in lasciviousness," met death most unnatural. "An unnatural death is to die as they did!! Of these, some were shot; some hung; some drowned; two destroyed themselves by intemperance, one of whom was eaten by dogs, the other by hogs, one committed suicide; one fell from his horse, and was killed; and one was struck with an axe, and bled to death." Of course what Cunningham could not tell us at the time, but we can say now, is that he and all of his followers are also dead now too, but they probably had a lot less fun along the way. Item 45. $200.
There are many more where these came from, and some are a bit more serious, but this is one of the more amusing book catalogues you'll ever read. Garrett Scott, Bookseller, may be found online at www.GSBbooks.com and reached by telephone at 734-741-8605.