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Broadside entitled 'Wonderful Case!'


This story begins: 'A strange and wonderful Account of a Rev. and well beloved Clergyman in London, who died a few days ago, and remained in that state for eighteen hours, and who, after being dressed in dead clothes, and laid out to be coffined, to the great surprise, terror and astonishment of all present, started up in bed, and, at great length, described the most wonderful sights he had seen, and what, he said, was to happen in the United Kingdoms in a short time.' The sheet was published by Francis McCartney of Edinburgh.

This broadside contains a fantastical story concerning the Lazarus-like return journey experienced by an unidentified clergyman in London. In short, this minister had apparently died and was laid out in his burial clothes, only to miraculously reappear back into the world of the living. While unconscious, however, the minister imagined himself on the verge of passing through heaven's gate but, despite the enticing harmonious music, for some reason could not bring himself to enter into God's heavenly kingdom. Instead, the minister chose to return to the worldly kingdoms of Britain and Ireland, where he brings good news through his visions that peace will soon replace war. Religious propaganda such as this would have been commonplace at this time.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable date of publication: 1830   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(81)
Broadside entitled 'Wonderful Case!'
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