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A Fragment on Government; Being an Examination of What is Delivered
1776. [Bentham, Jeremy (1748-1832)]. A Fragment on Government; Being an Examination of What is Delivered, On the Subject of Government in General, In the Introduction to Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries: With a Preface, In Which is Given a Critique on the Work at Large. London: Printed for T. Payne, 1776. [iv], lvii, [2], 208 pp. Octavo (8-1/2" x 5-1/2"). Nineteenth-century quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt fillets and title to spine. Moderate rubbing to boards and extremities, front hinge starting at head. Moderate toning and light foxing to text, a few corners dog-earned, small hole to margin of a leaf. Early owner signature (William Duane) to head of title page and preface, annotation, presumably in his hand to foot of p. xxi (part of final line lost to trimming), interior otherwise clean. * First edition. Bentham's first book, this trenchant analysis of contemporary legal and political ideas offered the first significant criticism of Blackstone. "If it were nothing more, it would have no interest for later generations, which do not regard Blackstone as an authority upon speculative questions of politics or history, and therefore do not need to have Blackstone's theories corrected or disproved. But in criticizing Blackstone's views, Bentham necessarily expounds his own. As Bentham is one of the few English writers of mark upon the theory of political institutions, and as his doctrine forms a link in the chain of English political philosophy, we still read the Fragment of Government in order to see, not how far Blackstone was wrong, but how far Bentham was right" (Montague). The William Duane who owned this copy may have been the important Philadelphia lawyer and politician. Born in Ireland in 1780, he settled in Philadelphia, where he helped his father publish the important anti-Federalist newspaper, the Aurora. He became an influential lawyer and powerful state politician, serving several terms in the state assembly, and was later Jackson's treasury secretary. He died in 1865. OCLC locates 2 copies in North American law libraries (Baylor, Ohio State). Another copy located at Harvard Law School. Montague, "Introduction" in Bentham, A Fragment of Government (Oxford, 1891) 59. Eller, The Wil
      [Bookseller: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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