HISTORY OF ENGLAND, From the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688. By David Hume, Esq. Continued to the Death of George the Second, by T. Smollett, M.D. With the Last Corrections and Improvements of the Authors... and a Short Memoir of H
Hume, David and Smollett, T[homas]
Price: 795.00 USD
(London: Henry G. Bohn, 1846), FIRST OF THE EDITION. A HIGHLY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL WORK, RARE IN ONE VOLUME FORMAT. It is especially unusual to discover a copy so firm and sturdy and in a binding clearly made for a gentleman of considerable wealth and importance. Charles Kendal Adams in his Manual of Historical Literature perhaps best describes this important work, "This work... has enjoyed the rank of a classic in historical literature from the day of its completion to the present time. In point of clearness, elegance, and simplicity of style it has never been surpassed." This edition features many corrections by the author. Hume's corrections were not so much on factual matters dealing with dates or events but an attempt to soften or correct some seditious Whig sentiments that he had allowed to creep into it. Speaking of his first edition Hume admitted, "I am sensible that [his writings] were too full of those foolish English prejudices which all nations and all ages disavow." The work is considered by many to be the first truly great history of England, and that although historically imperfect, of outstanding intellectual conception. It is not a simple chronicle of events but instead an attempt by Hume to trace the many steps leading to the state of England as it was in his present time. He views history not only as a chain of actions and reactions but delves as well into the material and intellectual state of the nation throughout the various points of the time period covered. A very attractive and rare edition complete in one volume. With two fine engraved portraits, one of Hume as frontispiece and one of Smollett at the start of the section dating from 1688 and with a separate half-title for Smollett's sectional portion of the book. Large, thick 4to, regally bound with Tudor roses and crowns in contemporary red morocco harking back to the Regency period of English history. The covers with multiple gilt fillet borders, the inner with large ornate corner-pieces, this surrounding a central gilt device of a coronet and Tudor rose on the upper cover and coronet and portcullis on the lower cover, the spine incorporating both rose and portcullis coronets again in the uppermost and lowermost of six floral gilt decorated and framed compartments between wide raised bands, one compartment gilt lettered and additional gilt lettering at the tail, and with gilt stippled board edges and wide elaborate gilt tooled turn-ins and a.e.g. xiv, 9pp contents, 1354pp, 60pp index. A very handsome and collectible copy, very finely bound, the binding strong and sturdy and well preserved with just a bit of expected and attractive age evidence, the hinges firm, the text fine and fresh with only a little spotting at the prelims and to the paper used for the portrait plates, that of Hume with a bit of light marginal staining not affecting the image.