Satan’s mistress

SouthcottSatan’s mistress is certainly a title to grab your attention, and includes plenty of strange facts about the life of 18th century fanatic and prophet Joanna Southcott.  The blurb on the back of the book is equally sensational:

“Joanna Southcott’s yearning to make her mark in the world was so strong that she inadvertently sold her soul to the Devil.  She would rather have given it to Jesus, but the Devil persuaded her that the voices she heard were from God.  It was only on her death-bed that she realised she was not the Bride of Christ at all, but the mistress of Satan.”

A sparsely educated daughter from a farming farming Joanna grew up to be a widely influential prophet who in her mid sixties claimed to be pregnant by immaculate conception, and that her son Shiloh would be born on Christmas day.  In fact she died on 27th December, unsurprisingly without giving birth.  Even today there is a sect of believers called the Panacea Society who are waiting for the spirit of Shiloh to manifest.

Val Lewis leads us through Joanna’s life, and explores what may have happened to the sealed Box of Prophecies, which was only to have been opened by 24 Church of England Bishops.

An extraordinary story about a woman who had 14,000 followers and a cult that still survives today.

Lewis, Val (1997) Satan’s mistress. Shepperton: Nauticalia.
ISBN: 0953045803
Classmark: BF1815.S6.L3 (ASSL)

Celebrating Ebooks Week

Cardiff University Libraries are beginning a week long promotion of their electronic book collections from 6-12 March 2014.  This coincides with World Book Day on 6th March.

Alongside this, for a limited period, is an “Ebooks on Demand” trial, presenting an opportunity for library users to rent and potentially purchase new ebooks.

Cardiff University Library currently has access to nearly 9,000 ebooks, available on and off-campus.  These range from titles in reference databases, subject specific collections, and individually purchased textbooks.

Recent additions to the library collection include:

Longmore, Murray, Wilkinson, Ian, B.,  Baldwin, Andrew & Wallin, Elizabeth (2014) Oxford handbook of clinical medicine. 9th ed. (now updated to the latest  edition)

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Benner, Erica (2014) Machiavelli’s Prince: a new reading
ISBN: 9780191769405
(Amongst 23 new titles recently added to the Political Science Module on Oxford Scholarship Online)

Blog 9780199653638

Brock, George (2013) Out of print: newspapers, journalism and the business of news in the digital age
ISBN: 9780749466527

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The Severn Tsunami?


By a happy coincidence – or is it just good timing, given the weather we have been having? – a new book on the floods of 1607 was recently ordered just as our colleague cataloguing Cardiff’s rare books was discovering a contemporary pamphlet about the same event. The Severn Tsunami? The story of Britain’s greatest natural disaster has been written by Mike Hall, a retired geography teacher, and it claims to be the first comprehensive account of the flood of 30 January 1607, which modern science now suggests may have been a tsunami.  It was a catastrophic event: a huge wave swept up the River Severn and flooded the land on both sides, killing many people and sweeping whole settlements away. The book is written in a fairly informal style, appealing to a general readership rather than a strictly academic one, but it nevertheless examines the sources thoroughly, drawing on several contemporary accounts. The pamphlet which we hold in our Special Collections is not directly quoted, although some of the same material and a similar illustration from  other sources are used. You can read about our seventeenth century pamphlet over on our Special Collections blog here, and if that has whetted your appetite you can borrow the modern book from the Salisbury Collection on the third floor of the Arts and Social Studies Library.

Detail from the woodcut on our 1607 pamphlet, "A true report of certaine wonderfull overflowings of water" in the Cardiff Rare Books collection in SCOLAR

Detail from the woodcut on our 1607 pamphlet, “A true report of certaine wonderfull overflowings of water” in the Cardiff Rare Books collection in SCOLAR

Hall, Mike (2013) The Severn tsunami? The story of Britain’s greatest natural disaster
Stroud: The History Press
Classmark: Celt GB1399.5.G7.H2 (ASSL Salisbury Collection)