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ESCHATUS

BRUCE PENNINGTON WORKED ON this book from the autumn of 1975 through to the winter of 1976, often at a furious pace as the true scale of the undertaking dawned on him and the necessary deadlines of publishing began to snap at his heels.

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Often it seemed that the paintings themselves were the least troublesom aspect of the work because he had also undertaken to supply the text. As all existing translations of Nostrodamus's prophecies had to some extent been corrupted by attempts to clarify them, Pennington wanted a fresh translation with as few interpretations as possible. This meant endless trips to the British Library, but to his relief the work was later taken over by the Editors at dragon's World.

Instead he concentrated on his own written interpretation of the prophecies which, correlated with those in the Book of Revelation, wove an apocalyptic tale of Europe's fortunes from the start of the 22nd century to just before the Great Millennium at the opening of the 24th - delivered in gnomic utterances in the style of an old German prophet.

Given that most students of prophecy seem to interpret the ongoing disasters in the Middle East as proof of imminent Armageddon, why did Pennington set his Great Millennium at the start of the 24th century?

"Because to me all the prophecies of Nostrodamus and Revelation point to an end still centuries in the future. I believe the way news is brought to us distorts our view of the world. All we see and hear about is the small percentage of it which is in trouble, not the greater proportion where everything is fine. The Middle East wars are, of course, dreadful for those involved, but I see no eschatological reason why they should lead to the immediate end of the world. Some people have always read the signs of the end into troubles of their time. Right from the start of Christianity people have understood Revelation to mean that they would see the Day of Judgement in their own lifetimes."

Below is a gallery of examples from the book. Click on the thumbnails for enlargements.

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