This broadside article begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the most astonishing PROPHECIES and PREDICTIONS, concerning the Revolutions, War, Reform, &c that is said will happen in the various Nations of Europe, &c, in the different Months of this eventful year, 1831. By a celebrated Jewish Prophet, from Poland.' The publisher was 'R.M.'
Predictions for the coming year by astrologers or mystics, are today an integral and profitable part of the book and newspaper trade. In 1830 or 1831, when this broadside is likely to have been published, this was probably a slightly more unusual feature, although astrology and fortune-telling were ancient practices in their own rights. In retrospect, few of this prophet's predictions for 1831 appear to have been accurate, although the death of Ex-US president James Monroe on July 4th could be seen as fulfilling the prophecy of a 'great statesman' meeting 'death or disgrace'. Then, as now, the key to public prophecy appears to have been to remain quite non-specific.
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.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Probable date of publication:
1830-1831 shelfmark: F.3.a.13(121)
View larger image