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2020-11-20 02:38:18
ROUSSEAU, Jean Jacques
[half-title: Du contract [sic] social;] Principes du droit politique
Amsterdam: Rey, 1762. 8vo, pp. [2], viii, 323, [1, advertisements]; half-title; engraved vignette of liberty seated; extremities slightly dusty, but a good clean copy in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in panels with red morocco label, joints rubbed but holding firm; marbled endpapers, edges stained red. First edition, the 'third state' (R. A. Leigh). 'The Contrat social remains Rousseau's greatest work ... It had the most profound influence on the political thinking of the generation following its publication. It was, after all, the first great emotional plea for the equality of all men in the state: others had argued the same cause theoretically but had themselves tolerated a very different government. Rousseau believed passionately in what he wrote, and when in 1789 a similar emotion was released on a national scale, the Contrat Social came into its own as the bible of the revolutionaries in building their ideal state' (Printing and the mind of man, 207). Rousseau disliked Rey's initial title-page, thinking it crowded and ill-arranged, though by the time of his complaint to the publisher the book had already been printed. Rey nonetheless substituted a new title-page featuring the vignette of Liberty from the Discours sur l'inegalité (which Rousseau also disliked), seated as opposed to standing, and relegated the Du contrat social to the half-title, where it kept its now-incongruous semicolon. The new half-title and title-page are conjugate with a cancel leaf, a textual correction changing Rousseau's note on religious inequality and marriage, which originally … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Bernard Quaritch Ltd [United Kingdom]
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